After nearly two hours of deliberation, a jury found 40 year old Miguel Oyola guilty of first degree murder of Michael Lee Gerrard.
Oyola was indicted and charged with Gerrard's murder on October 2nd, 2008. Gerrard was stabbed to death and his body was found in a wooded area near the Jefferson County, Leon County line.
Closing arguments got underway Monday morning and prosecutors say Oyola didn't just premeditate the murder,but that it was done with extreme violence.
"He is guilty of nothing less than first degree murder, nothing less than first degree murder. He deliberately killed Michael Lee Gerrard, deliberately, not one but two ways. Repeated blows, repeated stabbing, a murder that transpired over a period of time. You know he meant to accomplish what he had done," says Neill Wade.
Oyola's defense attorney claims that much of the prosecutor's case was speculation, and that it was a crime committed in the heat of passion.
"There was an unlawful killing of Michael Lee Gerrard, by an act imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind, without the regard to human life. That's the perfect definition of someone with a depraved mind, not first degree murder," says Gregory Cummings.
Oyola was also found guilty of armed robbery, and grand theft.
At this point prosecutors say robbery was the motive behind the murder. Gerrard withdrew 900 dollars from his account before he was killed and when his body was found, the money was not on him.
Witnesses say Oyola claims Gerrard tried to put between 600 and 800 dollars in his mailbox as a Christmas bonus.
The penalty phase of the trial gets underway Friday morning. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/101606683.html