MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The jury that convicted Carlos Kennedy of capital murder must now decide whether to recommend he be executed or serve life in prison without parole.
The jury handed down a guilty verdict in his capital murder case Thursday, May 16.
He sexually assaulted and beat Zoa White with a hammer.
Before the day's proceedings ended, there was a strange twist during the punishment phase.
Jurors deliberated about three hours before reaching a verdict: guilty of capital murder. Kennedy showed no emotion as the verdict was read.
DNA PROVES CRUCIAL
Afterward, Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich credited good police work with finding eight blood samples on the scene that matched Kennedy's DNA.
Rich said, "It was mainly because of the DNA. But for the DNA, this would not have been the type of case that it is here today."
The case then entered the punishment phase, where jurors heard more arguments.
Zoa White's daughter Laurie Miller said, "We'll wait and see what the jury says. Certainly, it's not a good day for anybody."
KENNEDY TAKES STAND AGAIN
During the penalty phase, Kennedy got on the stand again, as he did Wednesday.
He denied killing White, and said he wished he could have handled his own defense without lawyers.
One of his attorneys, Art Powell, said, "He has a right to ignore our advice, and he's good at it. And it was a very unpleasant experience for everyone involved."
Another one of Zoa White's daughters, Karen White, said of Kennedy, "He is up there like a 12-year-old child who's having a tantrum and didn't get what he wanted, so he wanted to make his thoughts known."
The trial turned out to be an emotional one, not only for White's family and friends, but also for Rich.
She said she knew White, and that's why she didn't personally try the case.
Rich said, "This is a difficult case. It's a difficult case for me. I spent the night in her house."
Miller said, "We will not remember her for the way she died."
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The punishment phase continues Friday. The jury can only make a recommendation on a penalty.
The trial for Giuseppe Pino LoPorto continues today in Baldwin County. LoPorto, now 80-years-old, faces several sex abuse charges against a child dating back to the early 90s.
FOX10 News has learned William "Eddie" Patrick, captain of Mobile's First police precinct, has been demoted following an internal investigation.
The Mobile Jaycees announce the members of the 2014-15 Azalea Trail Court.
Pastor of Lifeway Community Church Mike McPherson says thieves stole presents that would have been given to needy children.
A man who bought a bicycle three weeks ago finds out it was originally stolen, according to the original owner who reported it missing in October.
If you were in the Foley area Thursday, you may have seen a helicopter, police and K-9 units. That’s because a store in Foley was robbed this morning at gunpoint. Eventually, the search was called off. The suspect is still on the loose.