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Man convicted of strangling landlord gets life

Booking photo of Erick Elon Niemi.

BUNNELL, Fla. – A 43-year-old Flagler man convicted of strangling his landlord will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Erick Elon Niemi was convicted by a Flagler County jury after a three-day trial on Oct. 23. The 12-person jury, comprised of 10 women and two men, deliberated for just under three hours before returning the guilty verdict.

Evidence at trial showed that Niemi tripped Leonard Leon Lynn to the ground, straddled him, beat him and ultimately strangled him. The medical evidence demonstrated that Niemi used enough force to break a bone in Lynn's neck.

Niemi took the stand in his own defense and said he didn't mean to kill Lynn.

Further evidence showed that Niemi also stole Lynn's vehicle and his credit card and used both.