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Granville Ritchie found guilty of first-degree murder, sexual battery in Tampa 9-year-old's death

Posted at 4:40 PM, Sep 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 23:37:12-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Granville Ritchie was found guilty of sexually battering and murdering 9-year-old Felicia Williams in May of 2014.

Jurors had a lot of evidence to review in the trial, which has been going on for a week and half. The jury found Ritchie guilty of first-degree murder, sexual battery and child abuse.

The penalty phase is expected to begin Thursday.

“Felicia Williams walked into apartment 721 around 4 p.m., 3:50 p.m. She never came out of there alive. She came out of there in a suitcase," said Assistant State Attorney Scott Harmon.

RELATED: Trial begins for man accused of raping, killing Tampa 9-year-old

The prosecution says during this trial, they have shown that Ritchie raped and killed 9-year-old Felicia Williams.

Family friend Eboni Wiley brought Williams to Ritchie’s apartment on May 16, 2014. She testified that she left the little girl alone with him to go buy marijuana.

When she came back, she says Williams was gone.

Wiley testified that Ritchie told her he let the child walk to CVS to buy candy, but there was no sign of her there.

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Prosecutors say evidence shows Ritchie strangled Felicia and used a suitcase to dispose of her body.

“There’s not one particle of evidence that points in any other direction, then directly at that table and that defendant," said Harmon.

Ritchie did not take the stand to testify in his own defense. His attorney told the jury that’s not a sign of guilt.

He also said the state did not prove that Ritchie is Felicia’s killer.

“There’s no sign of a struggle in that apartment. There’s no DNA evidence left by Felicia Williams that you would expect if there is a struggle in that apartment," said Bjorn Brunvand.

As closing arguments came to an end, Ritchie’s attorney told him to stand up. Then told the jury, “he is now in your hands.”