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Man Convicted of Shoe Store Murders

October 25, 1997

NEW YORK (AP) _ A man whose bungled robbery attempt turned a shoe store into a bloodbath that left five people dead and three seriously injured was found guilty of murder.

Michael Vernon, 24, who has a history of mental illness, had claimed he was insane at the time of the attack at Little Chester Shoe Store in the Bronx.

Prosecutors say Vernon planned to rob the shoe store on Dec. 19, 1995. He reportedly asked about a pair of size 13 1/2 boots and then started firing at close range when an assistant gave him ``a hard time.″

Jurors on Friday found Vernon guilty of all five counts of first-degree murder and four counts of attempted murder.

Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson said he will seek the maximum penalty _ life imprisonment without the possibility of parole at the Nov. 14 sentencing.

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