Lexington, SC (WLTX) - A Lexington County judge has found a man guilty of killing a West Columbia grandmother and granddaughter who were last seen in 2006.
Judge Eugene Griffith issued his ruling Wednesday morning against Kenneth Andrew Lynch. The defendant had waived his right to a jury trial, putting his fate in the judge's hands.
Lynch has been in jail since June of 2006 in connection with the deaths of Portia Washington and Washington's granddaughter, Angelica Livingston. The two had been reported missing in 2006, but their bodies were never found.
Lynch was later found in Washington State about two hours north of Seattle. Investigators believe he was trying to escape to Canada.
Griffith said he came to his decision Tuesday afternoon after much prayer.
During the trial, the defense argued the state had tampered with key witnesses, making them unable to testify. They also said the death penalty should be removed as a possible sentence if Lynch is found guilty.
The judge disagreed.
The sentencing phase of the trial is set to begin Thursday.