Meridian man convicted of murdering his father

An Ada County jury on Thursday found Anthony W. Conner guilty of beating his elderly father to death.

The jury convicted Conner, 61, of second-degree murder and destruction of evidence. Conner was aquitted of first-degree murder, which required the jury to determine the killing was “willful, deliberate and premeditated.”

The jury could not reach a unanimous decision on charges of grand theft and forgery, on accusations Conner forged and cash a $3,100 check written on the account of his father, Otis Conner, 87.

Anthony Conner could face life in prison when he is sentenced June 24 by 4th District Judge Richard Greenwood. He faces five years for destruction of evidence.

Otis Conner died Jan. 2, 2013, after being struck three times on the head with the claw end of a hammer. Prosecutors said Anthony Conner staged the scene to make it appear his father died after falling off a ladder in the garage. A trail of blood led through three rooms in the house and out to the garage that experts said was inconsistent with a fall from a ladder.

Prosecutors said Anthony Conner, a truck driver, was strapped for cash to make payments on his home in the 300 block of North Turnberry Way, his commercial truck, a pickup and a motorcycle. They noted that on the day of Otis Conner’s death, the same day Anthony Conner cashed the check from his dad’s account, the younger Conner received 15 calls from bill collectors.

Defense attorneys said Anthony Conner arrived home after running errands and eating dinner with friends to find his father dead on the floor of the garage. It appeared, they said, that Otis Conner died after falling from a ladder. A ceiling door to the attic was open, and Otis was found on his back, blood pooling underneath his head.