A 26-year-old man was convicted Wednesday of fatally shooting a Las Vegas liquor store clerk during an April 2016 robbery.
Defendant Ray Charles Brown, who was found guilty on all counts, now faces the possibility of a death sentence.
The shooting of 24-year-old Matthew Christensen in the back room of a southwest valley Lee’s Discount Liquor store was captured on surveillance video.
Christensen’s family was present as the verdict was read, after 10 hours of jury deliberation across three days, on the birthday of his mother, Theresa Christensen.
“The last three-and-a-half years have been very hard on us,” she said. “We’ve just been waiting for this day for very long. To me, it’s a really good birthday present.”
Prosecutors showed jurors images from the robbery and said they revealed Brown’s face in a cinched hoodie. A white sock covered tattoos on his right hand, and he moved with a distinct limp.
Brown was charged with murder, robbery with a deadly weapon, first-degree kidnapping, burglary while in possession of a firearm, coercion with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.
The same panel that convicted Brown also must decide whether he should receive the death penalty or a term in prison. The trial’s penalty phase is scheduled to begin Thursday.
Christensen’s mother, brother and father said they wanted capital punishment for Brown.
Prosecutors said Brown fired multiple shots that struck Christensen, a part-time employee, who had directed his killer away from his co-workers and to the back of the store.
“I miss him,” Henderson said Wednesday. “I miss him a lot.”
Defense attorneys argued that Brown was not the man in the video who fired six shots into Christensen after he stood with his hands up, telling robbers he could not open the store’s safe.
During closing arguments, defense attorney Josh Tomsheck tried to convince jurors that prosecutors had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Brown was the gunman.
Tomsheck pointed to what he called an “overwhelming lack of evidence” — including the lack of DNA, footprints and fingerprints — and argued that another man was responsible for the killing.
“Ray doesn’t have any proceeds from the robbery, because Ray isn’t the guy in the video,” Tomsheck said. “What if they’re wrong about who is responsible for this crime?”
The second gunman, Lee Dominic Sykes, fired a warning shot before bullets from Brown’s revolver killed Christensen, prosecutors said.
Sykes, 24, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder with a deadly weapon, was sentenced to between 25 and 65 years in prison. He, too, had faced capital punishment before striking a deal with prosecutors.
His older brother, Lee Murray Sykes, 26, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and robbery charges, was sentenced to 15 to 40 years behind bars.