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Bridgeport (AP) - A Bridgeport landlord who once boasted he'd be acquitted of murder has instead been convicted in a shooting over rent money and faces up to 65 years in prison.
Jimmy Cunningham was convicted on Friday of fatally shooting an unarmed man he claimed was in self-defense. The Connecticut Post reports that the 41-year-old Cunningham told court employees before the trial he would not be sent to prison.
"I'll be home having a steak dinner when this is over," he said.
He was convicted of shooting Daniel Speller, the father of a 6-year-old girl, in an argument last year over rent.
Cunningham cursed when the verdict was read. Speller's family gasped "yes" from the back of the courtroom.
"It helps to know that the person who did this is getting justice, but nothing will bring my son back," said Christine Speller, the victim's mother.
Cunningham testified that he shot Speller but that he did so because he feared for his life. He said he had gotten into an argument with Speller, who knocked him to the ground.
and began kicking him. As he lay on the ground he said he pulled out a handgun and it suddenly discharged.
He said he grabbed Speller in a headlock and dragged him to the rack behind his Hummer, lifting the man's body onto it with a neighbor's help. He then covered it with an old tarp.
He drove to his grandmother's house, parked his Hummer in the woods behind the house and began stuffing the body in plastic garbage bags.
"It started to rain and I wasn't going to let him get nasty," Cunningham said.
He's scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 25.
Information from: Connecticut Post, http://www.connpost.com