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Man Convicted of Murdering Widows

July 29, 1998

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A man was convicted of murder for stabbing twin widowed sisters to death for two pocket watches and some old coins.

A jury deliberated six hours Tuesday before finding Carlton Francis, 23, guilty of first-degree murder, robbery with a deadly weapon, burglary and aggravated battery.

Clair Brunt and Bernice Flegal, both 66, were killed July 24, 1997, in the West Palm Beach home they shared. Francis lived next door to the twins, and his mother knew the women.

``This isn’t some faceless monster,″ said Kevin Cutting, Flegel’s son-in-law. ``This was a next-door neighbor’s child, and it was a neighbor that Bee and Claire had a loving, neighborly relationship with, so it hurts from all aspects.″

Francis faces either the death penalty or life in prison at sentencing Aug. 26.

Defense attorneys said they would appeal.

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