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Published August 26, 2010, 03:21 PM

Conviction upheld in killing of state park worker

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld the first-degree murder conviction of a man convicted of killing a worker at Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld the first-degree murder conviction of a man convicted of killing a worker at Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne.

Randy Swaney (SWAY'-nee), of Sioux Falls, S.D., was convicted in 2008 of killing Carrie Nelson seven years earlier. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. On Thursday, the high court rejected his claims that errors by the judge and prosecutor justified a new trial.

Authorities believe the 20-year-old Nelson was beaten to death during a 2001 robbery in the park office.

Swaney wasn't charged until 2007, after DNA from a watch found at the scene was matched with his, and his fingerprints were matched with those found on papers in the office. He denied killing Nelson, but testified he might have stopped at the park briefly to check on camping there.

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