BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Keon Gray was found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of seven-year-old Taylor Hayes.
30-year-old Gray was accused of shooting the child who was caught in a shootout last summer while riding in the backseat of a car with her godmother Darnell Holmes and her boyfriend Malik Edison.
He was found not guilty of first-degree murder, but he was found guilty of seven of the nineteen charges, including gun charges.
“I’ll never see my child again ever,” said Taylor’s mother Shanika Robinson.
The family said that justice was served, but nothing will bring Taylor back.
“What happened to her, it don’t bring her back to be honest,” Taylor’s cousin said.
The jury deliberated for most of the day on Wednesday. Just before lunch, they sent a note to the judge with two questions. They asked to see recorded statements and testimony from several key witnesses and asked what would happen if they couldn’t come to a unanimous decision.
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The judge said the jury was only able to review the evidence presented as part of the trial. She did not address the second question.
After lunch, the jury reviewed the recorded courtroom testimony of Edison, who was one of the two adults inside the car with Taylor Hayes when she was shot.
In their closing arguments, the prosecution said they were able to place Gray at the scene of the crime through cell phone site records and that his DNA was found inside the white Mercedes they believe was used in the commission of the crime.
But the defense said this case was “full of reasonable doubt,” and argued that the prosecution was not able to prove that the Mercedes was the car used in the crime.
They questioned the credibility of the state’s two main witnesses, Holmes and Edison, who the defense said continued to lie to police and the jury.
The defense also pointed to the testimony of one of the lead detectives in the case, who they said misrepresented text message conversations he had with an eye witness to the shooting.
WJZ learned that Detective-Sgt. Kevin Brown had a pending drunk driving charge after he was involved in a crash on Interstate 95 in the Edgewood area last year.
Gray’s defense attorney, Ken Ravenell, said he will file an appeal. He has 10 days to do so.
“Mr. Gray continues to profess his innocence,” Ravenell said. “It’s never easy when a jury returns a verdict like this. We certainly thank the jury for their time and effort, but we feel this is a compromised verdict.”
In a statement Wednesday, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby applauded the jury’s verdict, saying:
“This reckless and irresponsible crime committed by the defendant took the life of a precious and innocent child. We are grateful to receive justice for seven-year-old Taylor Hayes and I applaud the work of prosecutors, Charles Blomquist and Matt Pillion, as well as our partners at BPD for their commitment to justice. The defendant faces 165 years in jail and should no longer have the freedom to recklessly take the life of anyone else. We will continue to offer support and prayers for the family of Taylor Hayes and the other victims in this case as they begin the process of healing from today’s guilty verdict.”
The defense says they plan to file for a new trial. @wjz
— Rachel Menitoff (@RachelMenitoff) August 14, 2019
The State’s Attorney said Gray faces 165 years in prison with the current conviction, but as mentioned, Gray’s attorney plans to appeal.