"Lord forgive them. They don't know what they are doing."

During his trial, prosecutors built a case based on witness testimonies, mobile phone records and evidence found in his house and truck that they said linked him to the student’s death.

His lawyers pointed to DNA evidence found under the victim’s fingernails that came from a man other than Swearingen.

They also had experts testify that the state of the student’s body showed she must have died after Swearingen was in custody following his arrest on other charges.

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