Albany man sentenced to minimum of 25 years in prison for murder of ex-wife

William Russell McDonald, jail booking photo

An Albany man was sentenced to life in prison with parole possible after 25 years for the murder of his ex-wife.

William Russell McDonald, 59, pleaded no contest to the charge of murder in July. He was arrested in September 2015 and initially faced an additional charge of felon in possession of a firearm.

A 911 call was made from a home on Southeast Scravel Hill Road on Sept. 9, 2015 and someone was heard screaming. The line disconnected, but investigators said McDonald called back and said he had killed someone.

McDonald was in the driveway when officers arrived at the scene. The body of his ex-wife, 54-year-old Vera Converse, was found inside the home.

Deputies said the couple divorced in 1994, but McDonald had been caring for Converse for five years and lived in a motorhome on the property.

McDonald was sentenced to prison Thursday. He had filed a motion in September in an attempt to withdraw his plea in this case, but that motion was denied in October.

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