PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - Dondre Davis, Duong Nyugen and Stephen Harper were found guilty of the first degree murder of 8-year-old Paris Whitehead-Hamilton, and were sentenced to life without parole.
The jury deliberated for several hours Tuesday night, and returned for more on Wednesday morning, before the verdict was announced just before 1:00 pm.
There was concern over any possible gang activity related to this case. Wednesday morning a deputy searched the courtroom using a security mirror. He checked under the seats and benches.
Nyugen’s lawyer had said he was falsely accused and Harper’s attorney said he should face a lesser charge because he never fired a gun.
The prosecution said they were all involved in the drive-by shooting that killed the little girl and should each be found guilty of first degree murder.
The judge sentenced each of the defendants to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Paris' cousin, LaShawn Crawford addressed the three defendants, "We have prayed about it, and we have forgiven you all. We did not agree to take a life for a life. We spared your lives, although you took our loved one from us."
Shenita Williams, Paris' aunt said, "I got justice today, but no victory. I'm numb because lives have been changed today. Now we just have to move forward."
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