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Sixteen-Year-Old Sentenced To Life In Prison For Ritual Murder

June 11, 1988 GMT

DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. (AP) _ A 16-year-old boy accused of taking part in a satanic human sacrifice of a 15-year-old girl, was convicted of murder Friday and sentenced to life in prison.

The jury deliberated less than three hours before convicting Robert McIntyre. The life sentence, imposed by Superior Court Judge Robert L. James, was mandatory because the state did not seek the death penalty.

Krontz called prosecution star witness Terry Belcher a ″demented child″ and a liar. Belcher, 15, was convicted of murder last month in the Jan. 17 slaying of Theresa Simmons.

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Belcher, who has been sentenced to life in prison, McIntyre and Malisa Earnest, 17, were charged in the slaying, accused of strangling her and then performing a crude Satanic ritual over her body.

Miss Earnest is to be tried later this month.

McIntyre’s lawyer, Kenneth Krontz, rested his case without calling a witness and unsuccessfully sought a mistrial.

Krontz complained the prosecution used allegations of devil worship to cloud the case and improperly introduced evidence such as rock music records with alleged references to Satan.

″They have taken a murder trial and turned it into a virtual witch hunt,″ Krontz said.