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Guilty Verdict For Man Who Set Store Clerk On Fire

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
Bud is the most veteran reporter at CBS 11 News with 42 years in m...
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Matthew Lee Johnson, 36, is accused of setting a store clerk on fire during a robbery. (Credit: Garland PD)

Matthew Lee Johnson, 36, is accused of setting a store clerk on fire during a robbery. (Credit: Garland PD)

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – It did not take long for a Dallas jury to convict a man accused of setting a convenience store clerk on fire after a robbery.

The capital murder trial for Matthew Johnson started on Monday.  By Wednesday afternoon, the jury had returned a guilty verdict, after two hours of deliberation.

Prosecutors showed the jury surveillance video, which caught 76-year-old convenience store clerk Nancy Harris walking out of the store in flames back in May 2012.

Convenience store clerk Nancy Harris died from injuries sustained after she was set on fire during a robbery.

Convenience store clerk Nancy Harris died from injuries sustained after she was set on fire during a robbery.

Surveillance video also showed Johnson entering the convenience store, forcing Harris to open the register and give him the money.  Another video showed him walking non-nonchalantly out of the store.

“No words need to be spoken,” said prosecutor Rocky Jones. “You know exactly who committed this offense.”

Johnson’s attorneys argued Johnson was guilty of murder, but not capital murder. They claimed the state failed to prove Johnson intended to kill Harris.

“They have not proven his intent In this case. They have not proven that he intended to set her on fire and to consciously cause her death,” said defense attorney Nancy Mulder.

Harris suffered 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burns on her face, shoulders, abdomen, arms and legs.  She died from her injuries five days later.

The trial resumes tomorrow to determine Johnson’s punishment. He could face the death penalty.

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