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Defendant found guilty of conspiracy in slayings

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — A man was convicted of conspiracy Friday in the slaying of an 8-year-old murder witness and the boy's mother.

But the jury acquitted Adrian Peeler, 25, of the most serious charges — murder and capital felony — which could have brought the death penalty. Peeler could get up to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder.

Peeler was accused of shooting to death Leroy "B.J." Brown Jr. and his mother, Karen Clarke, in their Bridgeport home in 1999 to keep the boy from testifying against Peeler's drug-dealing brother, Russell Peeler.

At the time, Russell Peeler was awaiting trial on charges of murdering Clarke's boyfriend.