EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSGUILTY VERDICT
from Eyewitness News Online
B R E A K I N G N E W S !Jury Finds Man Accused Of Murder Guilty
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Leslie Rubin/Bob Aaron
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Also Contributing: Bob Aaron, Bethany Simmons
Reported: Apr. 18, 2012 10:13 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 19, 2012 12:44 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
The jury has made it's decision in the Brandon Gray trial.
He has been found guilty of first degree murder with mercy. Though Gray denied killing Timothy Thompson last June on Charleston's west side the jury thought differently.
Prosecutors say it was over a drug debt he owed to another man.
A man accused in a West Side murder allegedly over drugs takes the stand in his own defense.
Brandon Gray, 20, puts himself near the scene of the June 2011 murder, but says he's not the one who killed Timothy Thompson, even after a cell-mate previously testified Gray confessed the murder to him.
Gray was the only witness to take the stand for the defense.
Prosecutors allege Gray lured in Thompson and killed him over a drug debt he owed another man, but Gray testified Thompson was a friend.
"I was best friends with his brother until all this came about," he said during questioning.
Gray admitted to setting up a marijuana drug sale by cell phone, something he admitted he lied to police about early in the investigation, but Gray says just as he was approaching the murder scene, he heard shots and ran.
"How many gun shots did you hear?" asked his attorney John Sullivan.
"About four," he replied.
"Why did you run away?" "Scared, I mean if you hear gun shots, I mean, you'e not going to stick around," Gray said.
Defense attorney's say the state is asking the jury to speculate on cell phone messages, and criticized a police investigation they say didn't look fully into attorney William Foster, who allegedly spent the day with the victim and was spotted near the scene of the murder.
Foster died of an apparent drug overdose shortly after the state's first trial ended in a mistrial because a juror got sick.
Family and friends of both Gray and Thompson have continued to pack the courtroom hoping for closure.
"We have two mothers. One who has lost her son permanetly to death, the other doesn't know if her son is going to be convicted of murder or not," said Thompson's aunt Vicky Terry-Keene.
If convicted, Gray faces life in prison.
The jury deliberated for a little more than a hour on Wednesday, and will resume deliberations at 9:30 a.m.
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