Fiance convicted in schoolteacher's murder

A man who said he killed his fiancee schoolteacher after finding sexually explicit text messages on her cell phone was convicted of murder Friday by a Henry County jury.

The attorney for Dana McFarlane, 36, of Snellville argued he should be convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the February stabbing death of Kinaya Byrd, who taught second grade at River's Edge Elementary School in Clayton County.

The jury disagreed, convicting McFarlane of malice murder, felony murder and kidnapping. Byrd, 34, was found with her throat cut in her Stockbridge home.

Police say McFarlane chased Byrd out of the home, then dragged her back in and killed her.

While the defense claimed McFarlane lost his mind upon finding the text messages, prosecutor Blair Mahaffey said there was no justification for the lesser charge, Channel 2 Action News reported.

"I don't know of anybody that was in a situation like he was that wouldn't be upset, but you don't get to kill somebody for that," Mahaffey told the jury, according to Channel 2.

Byrd was a Spelman College graduate who taught kindergarten before taking the River's Edge job in 2008.

A week ago, friends and colleagues dedicated the Kinaya Byrd Teacher Resource Room at Eddie White K-8 Academy in Hampton. Byrd had been scheduled to start teaching there this school year.