Published: Feb 11, 2011 6:33 PM EST
Updated: Feb 11, 2011 3:36 PM EST

LARGO, Fla. (AP) - A man who authorities say accidentally dialed his wife's cell phone while killing her was found guilty of second-degree murder.

Jurors reached the verdict late Thursday after deliberating for more than eight hours.

Ronald Earl Williams faced a possible death sentence, but defense attorneys told jurors their client killed his wife Mariama in 2007 and asked them to consider lesser charges.

Sentencing is set for Friday afternoon. The maximum sentence for second-degree murder is life in prison.

Prosecutors said Williams activated his cell phone, which then called his wife's cell phone while he was killing her. Jurors heard the voicemail recording of Williams saying he was going to kill her and the 31-year-old woman's terrified screams.

--- Information from: St. Petersburg Times,

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)