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Joss Stone Murder Plot Pair Found Guilty
Defendants were arrested in 2011 near the singer's home.
A British jury has reportedly reached a guilty verdict nearly two years after a pair of men were arrested near the home of U.K. soul artist Joss Stone on suspicion of conspiracy to rob and murder the singer.
According to live coverage from BBC News correspondent Jon Kay, Kevin Liverpool, 35, and Junior Bradshaw, 32, received unanimous guilty verdicts in the Exeter Crown Court, where the jury took just four hours to reach a decision on Wednesday (Apr. 3). Liverpool received a life imprisonment with a minimum 10 years in jail, while Bradshaw's sentencing was delayed.
Bradshaw and Liverpool, both natives of Longsight, Manchester, denied conspiracy against Stone after being arrested in June 2011. The men were found near Stone's home in Devon, England, armed with swords, rope and a body bag; neighbors had alerted police to their suspicious activity.
During the trial, the prosecution pointed to notes written by Liverpool which detailed a gruesome plot to behead Stone due to her links to the Royal Family. Stone is a friend of Prince William and was a guest at his April 2011 wedding to Kate Middleton.
Bradshaw claimed that he had never heard of Stone before the arrest, but the judge at the Exeter Crown Court described both defendants as "dangerous" and said of Liverpool, "It was your scheme." Stone's mother Wendy was in attendance at the court for the guilty verdicts.
Following the conviction, Superintendent Steve Parker, the Senior Investigating Officer, said in a statement, "This has been a long and difficult investigation. While on the face of it the circumstances speak for themselves, the enquiry has involved some complex areas of law and presented significant challenges to the investigation team." Parker also thanked "Stone, her family and management for their ongoing support and assistance to the investigation team throughout this investigation, despite the distressing and disturbing nature of the events which were being uncovered."
Since the plot was thwarted in 2011, Stone has released a pair of albums, "LP1" and "The Soul Sessions Vol. 2." Following the arrests, the singer said in a statement, ""I'd like to thank everyone for their concern but I'm absolutely fine and getting on with life as normal while the police continue with their inquiries."