1 of 2 brothers convicted in 1984 death of elderly woman

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One of two brothers suspected in the 1984 beating death of an elderly Missouri woman has been found guilty.

A St. Charles County jury on Friday convicted 56-year-old Brian McBenge of second-degree murder in the death of Eleonora Knoernschild.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the case was retried this week after an appeals court in 2016 ordered new trials for McBenge and his brother, Cecil McBenge. The court said evidence during the brothers’ separate trials in 2014 didn’t indicate if either brother planned to kill the victim.

Knoernschild’s murder went unsolved until 2011, when police linked DNA on a plastic cheese wrapper to Brian McBenge, and DNA on Knoernschild’s nylon stocking to Cecil McBenge.

Authorities suspect burglary was the motive.

Cecil McBenge is awaiting retrial but has plea hearing scheduled for Oct. 25.

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