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Former Banker, Mayor Convicted of Killing His Wife

February 13, 1996 GMT

OZARK, Mo. (AP) _ A former banker and small-town mayor who testified that a masked intruder shot his wife was convicted today of killing her to collect on an insurance policy.

A Christian County jury returned the verdict against George Revelle after nine hours of deliberation over two days. Revelle hung his head, closed his eyes and swallowed hard when the verdict was read.

The jury still must decide whether to recommend the death penalty or life in prison.

Revelle, 37, was accused of murdering his wife, Lisa, on Sept. 28, 1994, to collect on a $500,000 double-indemnity life insurance policy.

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Mrs. Revelle was shot in the head in the couple’s bedroom. Revelle testified an intruder killed her during an attempt to extort money from the bank where he was a vice president.

In his closing argument, Bill Wendt said his client was innocent.

``It ain’t true, it didn’t happen, and he didn’t kill her,″ he said.

But prosecutor Kenny Hulshof, in his closing argument, countered Revelle ``cannot be counted on to tell the truth.″ Among other witnesses, an alarm company technician testified that Revelle’s account of how his alarm went off the night of the killing wasn’t possible.

Bank officials found irregularities in their books after the shooting and asked the FBI to investigate. In April, Revelle was indicted by a federal grand jury on 18 counts of embezzlement, misapplication of bank funds and money laundering.

Revelle pleaded guilty in June to 17 of the 18 counts and agreed to serve 27 months on those charges. He was accused of embezzling $53,000 from the bank and a minor amount from the town of Fremont Hills, where he was mayor.

Wendt said Revelle stole the money after the home he and his wife built went $150,000 over budget.

Because of pretrial publicity, a jury was chosen in Henry County, 110 miles to the north, and brought to Ozark to hear the case.