Fla. man guilty of killing newlywed wife for money

MIAMI (AP) - A South Florida man has been convicted of beating his newlywed wife to death so he could collect a $1 million life insurance policy.

Prosecutors say Michel Escoto was married to 21-year-old Wendy Trapaga for only four days in October 2002 when he strangled and beat her. Escoto initially tried to drug her during their Key West honeymoon and make her death look like an accidental drowning, but Trapaga complained her drink was too chalky.

Prosecutors say he tried to drown her again several days later in a Jacuzzi at Miami's Executive Airport Motel, but he couldn't get her to stay under water. He finally beat her to death with a tire iron later that night.

A Miami-Dade County jury on Tuesday found the 42-year-old guilty of first-degree murder and he faces a mandatory life sentence.


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