Self-defense claim rejected; man convicted in double killing

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Rey Hernandez (File photo)

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ A St. Louis man who claimed he killed two friends in self-defense has been convicted of two counts of first-degree murder.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that jurors also found 21-year-old Rey Hernandez guilty Thursday of two armed criminal action counts in the October 2015 shooting. He testified that he grabbed 23-year-old James Cobb Jr.’s gun during a struggle and shot Cobb and 22-year-old Haris Hajdarevic out of fear.

At the time, Hernandez was dating the mother of Cobb’s then 1-year-old son. Hernandez and Cobb had exchanged taunts on Facebook before the shooting. Hernandez said Cobb should “stop running from his responsibilities as a father.” Cobb and his ex-girlfriend were in a custody dispute.

Sentencing is set for June 8. First-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life without parole.