Man sentenced to life for 2012 brutal murder of elderly St. Helena Parish man

ST. HELENA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A man convicted of first-degree murder in 2017 for the 2012 brutal death of an elderly man has now learned his fate.

The 21st Judicial District Court reported Michael Halford, 37, of Greensburg, was formally sentenced to life in prison without probation, parole, or suspension of sentence in the murder of John Hornsby, 75, of rural St. Helena Parish.

Officials said Halford was found guilty by a jury on Aug. 2, 2017. They added he was sentenced by Judge Jeffery Johnson.

Hornsby was found dead outside his home on Aug. 7, 2012. Investigators believe he was beaten with a maul and run over with his own truck. They added his house was then set on fire. At the time, this was the first murder in St. Helena Parish in four years.

Authorities said guns and jewelry, including a Rolex watch, were missing from the home. They added Hornsby's DNA was found under Hornsby's fingernails. Court officials said a woman who visited Halford in jail in 2013 contacted detectives and told them Halford admitted to her that he had killed Hornsby. Officials added detectives should search the woods behind his mother's house for the guns and jewelry.

"I will get some peace knowing that Michael Halford is in prison for life without parole for the murder of my father," Roxanne Hornsby said to the court, officials reported.

Officials added she thanked the St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office and the 21st Judicial District Attorney's office for bringing justice for her father's death. She described him as a US Army veteran, farmer, and genuine, hard working man who would help anyone.

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