Man convicted in friend’s strangulation death with Christmas lights, officials say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 39-year-old man has been convicted in the killing of a friend who was found strangled with Christmas lights.

According to a release from the Shelby County District Attorney’s office, a criminal court jury convicted Hans Banks on Thursday of voluntary manslaughter.

His trial had begun Monday.

Banks remains in jail and will be sentenced later by a judge.

According to the release, testimony revealed that on July 7, 2019, Banks and the victim, 59-year-old Joseph Hurdle, got into a fight at their apartment on East Cabana Circle near University Street and Vollentine Avenue.

Banks said that during the fight, he hit Hurdle with an ashtray and then strangled him with a string of Christmas lights, the release said.

This was the first jury trial in Shelby County in over a year due to COVID-19 restrictions.