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El Paso father convicted of evidence tampering in murder case involving his son

Aaron Zelonis (left) and Richard Zelonis (right).

EL PASO, Texas -- A jury deliberated about an hour late Thursday afternoon before finding an El Paso father guilty of tampering with evidence after his son allegedly murdered a man.

Richard Zelonis, 55, was convicted of two counts of tampering with physical evidence in connection with the Aug. 2016 slaying of 26-year-old Devon Leatherbury, whose decomposed body was found in a desert area off Dyer Street in northeast El Paso.

Police initially charged both Richard Zelonis and his son, 27-year-old Aaron Anthony Zelonis, with Leatherbury's killing.

But prosecutors later dropped the murder charge against the elder Zelonis due to a lack of evidence, while the younger Zelonis still faces an upcoming murder trial scheduled for June.

Richard Zelonis will be sentenced Friday morning on the evidence tampering conviction in 34th District Court.

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Jim Parker

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