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Man found guilty of murder in strangulation of woman

SAO: Joshua Whitfield found guilty by jury of first-degree murder

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(Jason Morrison/FreeImages.com)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville man has been found guilty by a jury of first-degree murder, according to the state attorney's office.

The state attorney's office said Joshua Whitfield, 26, and the victim, Kim Davis, went to an abandoned, detached garage on West Seventh Street in May 2013.

While there, Whitfield proceeded to strangle Davis until she died, prosecutors said. Whitfield then took Davis' purse and cellphone while leaving her body in the garage.

Prosecutors said an anonymous tip led law enforcement to the location of Davis' purse, where witnesses said Whitfield was trying to sell the cellphone.

Whitfield later admitted to multiple witnesses that he strangled Davis, authorities said.

A thorough investigation included DNA testing that confirmed Whitfield's DNA was on the victim's body, according to the state attorney's office. Whitfield was arrested in August 2013.

Whitfield faces a mandatory life sentence in Florida state prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled the week of Oct. 8.