Man convicted of woman's slaying found dead in jail

Keith Edwards
Keith Edwards

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (AP) - A man convicted Friday of strangling his 68-year-old neighbor hanged himself in the Crittenden County Jail over the weekend, authorities said.

Sheriff's Investigator Thomas Martin said 42-year-old Keith Edwards was found dead in the shower area near his cell at about 4:30 a-m yesterday.

Martin said the death appears to be a suicide.

Tommie Davis was found dead in her West Memphis home on July 30th, 2004. Police arrested Edwards, a former cookie salesman and local business owner, and said robbery appeared to be the motive for the slaying.

Edwards was convicted of first-degree murder on Friday, and the jury recommended a sentence of life in prison.

Prosecutors focused most of their case on DNA evidence from a piece of duct tape found near Davis' body. The length of tape contained DNA from Edwards as well as blood from the victim.

An investigation into Edwards' death is being conducted with the assistance of the Arkansas State Police.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)