PENSACOLA, Fla. — A fantasy game enthusiast was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for beating a former Pensacola newspaper reporter to death with a hammer and burying his body in a concrete-covered pit in Georgia.
William Cormier III was so desperate for money that he killed Sean Dugas in the fall of 2012 so he could steal his $100,000 collection of fantasy role-playing cards for the game “Magic: The Gathering,” prosecutors said.
Jurors convicted Cormier of first-degree murder after a little more than an hour of deliberations. Cormier III showed no reaction as the verdict was read.
Dugas’ parents broke down in sobs as the verdict was read. His mother clutched a picture of her son.
Prosecutor Bridgette Jensen told jurors during closing arguments that Cormier III used profits from selling the cards to pay for the plastic storage container that became Dugas’ concrete-encased coffin.
“He sold Seans’ own cards to buy that cheap, plastic coffin to put his body in,” Jensen said.
Defence attorneys said prosecutors didn’t prove that Cormier III killed Dugas, and instead suggested his twin was responsible. Cormier’s twin brother pleaded no contest to charges of helping his brother move Dugas’ body from Florida to Georgia.
Court deputies escorted Christopher Cormier into the courtroom immediately after the verdict was read.