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Pierce County man convicted of murder

A Pierce County jury convicted a 23-year-old man Tuesday of murdering a University Place resident last year.

Jurors deliberated for less than a day before finding Marcus Thaddeus Clayton guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree theft, two counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm and theft of a firearm. They acquitted him of tampering with a witness.

Clayton faces at least 25 years in prison when he is sentenced April 2.

Prosecutors alleged Clayton and two women – Airreale E. McCowan and Celestine Danette Nathan – conspired to rob Darryl Bracey, 61, in his apartment on March 10, 2009.

Clayton shot Bracey during the robbery, prosecutors argued during the trial. Clayton said he acted in self-defense.

McCowan, 21, pleaded guilty last year to first-degree robbery. She’s to be sentenced Friday. Nathan, 40, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 10 years, 10 months in prison.

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