Guilty verdict for Don Farmer, jury recommends 125 year sentence

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Late Friday night, jurors delivered a guilty verdict in the two-decade old rape and murder trial of Don Farmer.

Farmer was accused in the 1987 home invasion that left 73-year-old Eathel Franzel bludgeoned to death.

A woman who survived the attack, who was 18 at the time, testified how two intruders sexually assaulted her. Farmer was arrested back in January, after a DNA "cold hit" linked him to the crime.

Jurors worked late into the night to return guilty verdicts on charges of murder, rape, burglary and robbery. In all, the panel recommended farmer spend 125 years behind bars.

"We are happy with 125," said Commonwealth's attorney Mike Herring. "More than that, I'm grateful to the jury for paying attention and that they gave us convictions. That's always the important thing for us."

"Recognizing that the co-defendant got a life sentence plus years, I'm obviously grateful there was not a life sentence," said Defense Attorney Shannon Taylor

Farmer will be held without bond until formal sentencing in December.

Another man, Lorenzo Williams, was caught running away from the scene after the attack. He's currently serving a life sentence.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.