JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After a week-long double-murder trial, a Saturday of jury deliberation ended with a guilty verdict and an emotional reaction on both sides.
Takoya Criner was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 21-year-old best friends, Isaac Brown Jr. and Jeffrey Hicks, on Memorial Day weekend 2002.
Brown, the son of a Jacksonville police officer, and Hicks were shot in the back of the head while they were playing video games, drinking and smoking marijuana at a Southside home.
Members of Criner's family cried out when he was convicted. Both victims' parents were emotional after waiting three years a verdict.
"I'm just glad this week is over ... and I can find some peace," said Isaac Brown Sr., who has sat in the trial every day.
"It's going going to bring my son back, but at least he's can't be on the streets to do that again to another family," Hicks mother, Cathy, said after the verdict. "Today is just kind of bittersweet -- to know that justice was served in the same month that he died."
Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty in the case. Criner's will be formally sentenced to life in prison next month.