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In-Law Guilty in Murder of Soldier

From Associated Press

A man was convicted Monday of murder in the ambush-slaying of his brother-in-law, who survived the Persian Gulf War but was gunned down only 10 days after he returned home.

A jury found Michael Cato, 20, guilty of murder and use of a firearm in a felony. Prosecutors called the crime a scheme to collect the soldier’s life insurance.

Under Michigan law, Cato faces mandatory life in prison without parole when he is sentenced Dec. 16.

Army Spec. Anthony Riggs, 22, was shot March 18 outside the house of his wife’s aunt. Riggs, stationed at Ft. Bliss, Tex., was in Detroit to help his wife, Toni Cato Riggs, move to a new apartment.

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The killing drew international attention when it appeared that random street violence had claimed the life of the Patriot missile crewman. Aretha Franklin sang at Riggs’ funeral and the Rev. Jesse Jackson gave a eulogy decrying urban violence.

But investigators said Cato conspired with his sister to kill Riggs and collect Mrs. Riggs’ $175,000 share of Riggs’ life insurance.

Both were charged with murder, but a judge dismissed the charge against Mrs. Riggs on grounds that her brother’s statements implicating her could not be used against her. Prosecutors are appealing that ruling.


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