A 67-year-old former welder at the Ford plant in St. Paul was convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of a 60-year-old landlord who was initially believed to have burned in a fire.

A Hennepin County District Court jury convicted Larry Joe Foster after some 18 hours of deliberations. The three-week trial ended late Friday.

Foster will be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 20 by Judge Jay Quam in the death last year of Daniel M. Bradley. Firefighters found Bradley in a burning house on the 2600 block of S. 13th Avenue and called police when they saw his throat had been slit.

At trial, jurors heard detailed testimony of the numerous stab wounds inflicted on Bradley by a power drill, a crotchet hook, a butcher knife and jumper cables. The blood-drenched shirt worn by Foster the night of the murder was shown to jurors during the trial.

The defendant testified last week that the shirt was bloodied when he used it to wrap the palm of his hand, which sustained a gash requiring 24 stitches. When he was treated for the wound, the defendant told doctors that he slashed his hand while trying to kill himself. He told the jury that he had injured his hand fending off the "real killer."

Foster admitted that he had smoked crack cocaine with Bradley the night he died, but insisted that a third man, a drug dealer he knew, had killed Bradley. That third man invoked his constitutional right and did not testify during the trial.

Foster said he and Bradley were smoking when the dealer showed up and accused the two of stealing his dope. He testified that the dealer and Bradley went upstairs and shortly thereafter, the victim yelled and tumbled down the stairs.

When he was on the stand, defense attorney Jordan Deckenbach asked Foster, "Did you murder Daniel Bradley?" Foster responded, "Absolutely not."

Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747

Twitter: @rochelleolson