A 58-year-old Grimes County man is facing life in prison after a jury convicted him last week of murdering his neighbor in September 2012.
Grimes County jurors spent about five hours deliberating Friday, the third day of the trial, before finding James Allen Bundage guilty of shooting 55-year-old Patrick David McHale Sr. as the two stood on the edge of their property lines off F.M. 369 near Plantersville.
McHale, a longtime dog trainer and breeder, is survived by his wife and two children.
Tuck McLain, Grimes County district attorney, said he asked the jury to find Bundage guilty of capital murder, at which point the defendant would have been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
He said he believed jurors went for the lesser charge of first-degree murder based on doubts about Bundage's intent to kill McHale.
Frank Blazek, Bundage's defense attorney, argued that the incident was an accident and asked jurors not to find his client guilty of murder.
About 10 witnesses testified against Bundage, including McHale's widow and daughter, as well as the first Grimes County sheriff's deputy to arrive at the scene, McLain said.
He said jurors heard evidence that Bundage told authorities he shot McHale because he was "tired of all the hate."
According to Grimes County dispatch records, there had been a long-standing feud between McHale and Bundage. Between 2004 and the day of the killing, authorities had responded to 11 calls from the property, eight made by McHale and three from Bundage.
McHale had called 911 twice the day he was killed and was on his second call with dispatchers when he was shot, authorities said. By the time the first deputy arrived, Bundage was nowhere to be found.
Bundage was caught attempting to come back onto his property by deputies who were staked outside his home, McLain said. He had been hiding about half a mile away inside his car, which he'd covered with brush and leaves, in the cemetery where his mother was buried, according to officials.
Bundage faces a minimum of five years in prison, but McLain said he plans to ask for a life sentence.
Blazek could not be reached for comment.