Man found guilty of second murder in 2 county crime spree

Associated Press

Centreville – A Michigan man already serving a life sentence for murder has been found guilty of murder in the death a man during a July 2017 crime spree.

A St. Joseph County jury deliberated for about two hours Friday before finding Zachary Patten guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Shane Richardson in the victim’s home in Florence Township. Richardson was the husband of Patten’s ex-wife.

Earlier on the same day, the 33-year-old Patten of Portage shot 31-year-old Graciela Portillo-Esparza at a mobile home park in Kalamazoo County. In February 2018, Patten was found guilty of first-degree murder in Portillo-Esparza’s death.

St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough said he is pleased with the verdict returned against Patten on Friday, noting the evidence against the defendant was “overwhelming.”

Patten is scheduled for sentencing June 21.