updated 7/2/2008 4:01:55 PM ET 2008-07-02T20:01:55

A Massachusetts jury on Wednesday convicted a former Missouri radio reporter of killing his wife by poisoning her with antifreeze.

The Middlesex County jury convicted James Keown of first-degree murder after deliberating for less than two days. Keown faces an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors said Keown was deeply in debt and killed his 31-year-old wife, Julie, in hopes of cashing in her $250,000 life insurance policy. Julie Keown died in September 2004 of a lethal dose of a chemical found in antifreeze.

Authorities said James Keown spiked his wife's Gatorade with antifreeze while the couple lived in Waltham, Massachusetts. Keown later returned to Missouri.

Keown's lawyer said Julie Keown could have committed suicide or accidentally ingested the chemical.

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