Man convicted in strangulation of elderly mother

A dispute over $4,000 led a College Park man to strangle his 79-year-old mother, a Fulton County jury concluded Friday afternoon.

According to the Fulton District Attorney's Office, Ray Starlin Nichols, 57, tried to cover up his mother's Oct. 2008 death by staging a small cooking fire. He told College Park Police he had fallen asleep but awoke in time to pull his mother to safety. She was pronounced dead soon after arriving at South Fulton Medical Center.

An autopsy revealed no evidence of smoke inhalation. Nichols denied killing his mother but couldn't explain the inconsistencies in his story, prosecutors say. He was sentenced to life in prison.