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Jury returns guilty verdict

A Wadena County jury found Thorpe Bradley guilty of a murder charge and guilty of an assault charge.

Bradley, of Menahga, was on trial for allegedly causing the death of his girlfriend's father, Thomas Hensel, also of Menahga, after the two exchanged punches at the Mary Brown Bridge near Menahga during a day of heavy drinking.

The prosecution alleged Bradley hit Hensel hard enough to eventually cause his death. The defense attributed the death at least in part to Hensel falling down.

Hensel was left in a vehicle overnight, but family members said they left him because they thought he had passed out from drinking, and would be OK the next day.

The incident happened Sept. 16, 2006, and Hensel died shortly thereafter. Bradley has been in jail since awaiting trial on the charges of second-degree unintentional murder as a result of committing third-degree assault.

The trial wrapped up with closing arguments Wednesday morning, and the jury was handed the case around 11:30 a.m. The verdict was read Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Wadena County District Court.