Donald Hartung found guilty in 2015 Pensacola triple murder

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Donald Hartung has been found guilty in the triple murder of his mother and two half-brothers.

Prosecutors say Hartung, 63, beat his mother, Bonnie Smith, and brother, John Smith in the head with a hammer and slit their throats on July 28, 2015. The state says Hartung then shot his brother Richard Thomas Smith in the head, before slitting his throat.

The jury returned the guilty verdict at the Escambia County Courthouse at about 5:30 p.m. They had been deliberating for about four hours.

Hartung is said to have killed his family to become the living heir at law to more than $800,000 in inheritance from his mother. His mother had intentionally left Hartung out of the will, prosecutors said.

The trial, included jury selection, has lasted about three weeks.

There will now be a penalty phase to determine whether Hartung will receive the death penalty. The penalty phase is expected to take place next week and last at least a few days.


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