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Man convicted in shooting deaths of two Penn. deputies

The Associated Press

TOWANDA, Pa.- A Pennsylvania man was convicted Tuesday of killing two sheriff's deputies who tried to serve him warrants in 2004.

Dustin Briggs was found guilty of first-degree murder and related counts in the shooting deaths of Michael VanKuren, 36, of Warren Center, and Christopher M. Burgert, 30, of Sayre. The jury will reconvene Wednesday morning for the death penalty phase.

The deputies were killed outside the home of Briggs' father while trying to serve warrants on Briggs and his then-girlfriend.

Briggs, 29, of Gillett, was originally being sought on a warrant for failing to appear in court.

He was arrested after a 30-hour manhunt about 2 1/2 miles from the crime scene as he tried to hide in a ravine between two fields.

Briggs' father, Arlan F. Briggs, was convicted in July of two counts of hindering apprehension or prosecution.

Defense attorney Craig Miller said he was disappointed in the verdict, but not surprised. "We've been preparing for the penalty phase for some time now," he said.

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