A man charged with murder in the beating death of a former northern Indiana city councilman has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
A jury on Thursday night returned the verdict in the case against 22-year-old Cody Garman of Elkhart.
Prosecutors say Garman last May beat 66-year-old David Swartley of nearby Goshen, drove him to a wooded area near the Elkhart River and abandoned him. He died at a hospital. Authorities say the two met through an advertisement on Craigslist for casual sexual encounters.
Garman testified on his own behalf Thursday, saying he abandoned Swartley after the beating and lied to police because he was afraid of being charged.
Swartley was a businessman, former teacher, the founder of a Christian youth group and a two-term Goshen city councilman in the 1990s.