A Miami-Dade jury found Mitchell Simpson guilty of first-degree murder and armed robbery Friday in the 2008 death of 15-year-old Emmanuel Lacayo.
On Thursday the defendant’s brother Julius Simpson testified against him, saying he saw Mitchell Simpson snatch a gold chain chain from Lacayo’s neck before he shot him in the head in southwest Miami-Dade.
Mitchell Simpson, 25, had no reaction after the verdict, and his family had no comment.
There were gasps and tears from across the courtroom from Lacayo’s family, who said they were happy to finally have justice for Emmanuel Lacayo.
Outside the courtroom, the Lacayos celebrated, relieved their son’s killer has been brought to justice. But it was still hard for them to hear how he lost his life.
“The toughest part is when they said that they knew they were kids. Oh my God, that hit me so hard,” said his mother, Linda Lacayo. “They knew they were kids. That didn’t stop them to do what they did – it was like more to do it, you know? An easy target. And that’s a big no no no, as a mother, as a part of the community, I will feel fight this.”
The couple is pushing for a measure that will allow minors to have the same protections as the elderly or police in such cases.
Officials believe the brothers fled in Julius Simpson's Buick following the shooting.
Julius Simpson took a plea deal and told the court he now expects to spend about two decades behind bars instead of getting a life sentence.
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