JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A jury took about 30 minutes to find Frederick Wade guilty of second-degree murder for killing his classmate, 20-year-old Kalil McCoy, during an argument in an SUV last year.
Wade, 20, faces 25 years to life in prison when he's sentenced in June.
McCoy's family held each other tight as they learned of Wade's fate.
Wade stayed calm as he took it in, but tears filled his eyes moments later. His family walked out clearly upset.
McCoy's grandmother sat and prayed.
"I'm glorified for my family, but at the same time we're sad because it didn't just hit our family, it hit their family as well," said Lynnette Roebuck, McCoy's mother.
The difference, Roebuck said, is their loved one is gone forever.
"They can still see their family member, they can still hug him or go visit him, but we can't do any of that for Kalil but just memories and pictures and listen to her voicemail on her cellphone that we keep going so that we can hear that," Roebuck said.
Prosecutors said Wade shot McCoy in a heated argument over her wanting her window rolled up in the SUV they were in. They said there was a chance she could have survived.
"The bruising to her head and to her shoulder, the doctor said that came when she was still alive, when her heart was still beating," prosecutor David Thompson said. "And he said she could have lived that time in the car. If he actually went to the hospital, we might not be here today."
Defense attorneys argued Wade did not kill McCoy but told police he accidentally did because he was tired after being interrogated by police for nearly seven hours.
They said the testimonies given by the three men in the backseat when McCoy was shot didn't match up.
"All three stories are different," defense attorney Robert Bethea said. "Why? Because when push came to shove, they couldn't keep the story straight. And remember, all three are admitted liars."
McCoy's family is relieved the trial's over, and they vow to carry on McCoy's name and smile as long as they live.
"Kalil's death will not go in vain," Roebuck said. "As long as I have breath in my body, there will be hope and change. Trust and believe."
McCoy, Wade and the three other suspects -- Kennard Mahone, Jonathan Brooks and Alfred Mears -- were classmates at Andrew Jackson High School, where McCoy graduated from weeks before her death.
Mahone, Brooks and Mears all pleaded guilty to being accessories after the fact after they admitted they helped dispose of McCoy's body. They are awaiting sentencing.
Wade was initially charged with manslaughter until the charge was upgraded in January to second-degree murder.
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