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Parolee convicted in ZZ Top murder trial

RICHMOND, Texas -- A jury convicted a prison parolee of capital murder for the 1991 abduction, robbery and slaying of the wife of the manager of the rock group ZZ Top.

Spencer Corey Goodman, 23, was found guilty Tuesday in the death of Cecile Ham, 48, of Houston.

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Ham's husband, Bill Ham, manager for the rock group ZZ Top, sat with friends and business associates in the back of the courtroom and left without comment after the verdict was returned. In a brief statement last week, Ham said he was in the courtroom to see justice prevail.

Jurors deliberated for about three hours. Goodman faces death by injection or life in prison. The punishment phase of the trial started Wednesday.

He was arrested in Colorado after a high-speed chase and captured in Ham's red Cadillac, which allegedly sparked his attention and made him target her outside a drug store in west Houston.

Goodman has given police statements acknowledging that he killed Ham after driving her into Fort Bend County near Houston. Prosecutors alleged that he beat her on the face and neck with his fists.

He testified that he meant to steal her car but had no intention of killing her.

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Goodman led Houston homicide detectives and Texas Rangers to Ham's skeletal remains on a remote ranch where he dumped her body shortly after the abduction.

The parolee was to have reported to a Houston halfway house on July 1 but instead he walked around Houston and picked his victim randomly when he decided he wanted her car, investigators testified.

After abducting Ham, Goodman used her credit cards to buy coffee, beer, cigarettes, clothes, cassette tapes and other items in various Texas towns for a month after the slaying.

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