A jury of 9 women and three men deliberated for 8 hours before finding Bessman Okafor guilty on all four charges against him: first degree murder, two counts of attempted 1st degree murder, and armed burglary.
Sighs of relief could be heard from the victims and their families. Tears started pouring out of Brienna Campos eyes the second the first guilty verdict was read.
Across the courtroom, Bessman Okafor sat at the defense table looking care free as he absorbed the verdict which now has life on the line.
"I was very happy with the outcome," said Brienna Campos
Bessman Okafor shot Briaenna Campos, her brother Remington and Alex Zaldivar as they laid face down on the floor in their home.
Brienna and her brother survived the nightmare and testified about the bloody home invasion that took their good friend and roommate Alex Zaldivar's life. Reporters asked her and her brother if this guilty verdict will help them move forward. "It's hard to say that right now. It's been 3 years and no…but I'm hoping this from now I can only have happy thoughts of Alex," said Brienna. "I'm glad to hear the verdict but I'm waiting to see what holds tomorrow," said Remington Campos.
Thursday, the sentencing phase begins.
Since this is a death penalty case, the Campos' will be testifying again and they know it won't be easy. But they're willing to do it in hopes of getting the only sentence that they and Alex Zaldivar's family see fit for that horrific crime three years ago.
"Peace of mind that knowing that we can put Bessman to death as well and give him the fear that we felt," said Brienna Campos. "He needs to die. He needs to forfeit his life because he took my son's life. He needs to be gone, completely gone. And he needs to suffer," said Rafael Zaldivar, Alex's father.
Sentencing begins at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. It's expected to last 2-3 days. The jury will vote on whether they believe Okafor should get a life sentence or sent to death row. The judge will take that vote into consideration, but ultimately the decision is up to him.