MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Thursday, Judge John Lockett ruled convicted murderer Michael Lee will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In June, Lee was found guilty of shooting 23-year-old Kyser Miree in the head back in 2010.
Lee sat in a jail jumpsuit while he awaited Judge Lockett's decision.
In June, a jury found Lee guilty of capital murder. The jury recommended a sentence of life without parole. However, in Alabama, ultimately the choice was in the judge's hands.
The prosecution urged the judge to issue the death penalty, while the defense argued that the jury made the right decision.
Judge Lockett said he gave the issue some serious thought and prayer, and decided to sentence Lee to life without parole.
Defense Attorney Glenn Davidson said, "We certainly are grateful for the recommendation of the jury first of all, and we're certainly happy that the judge chose to follow that recommendation and impose a sentence of life without parole."
Mobile County DA Ashley Rich said, "We have always believed this was a death penalty case, and our feelings don't change on that. We think this case is worthy of the death penalty, and so we are disappointed."
As Lee was taken out of the courtroom, Judge Lockett said, 'Good luck to you, Mr. Lee.'
Kyser Miree's parents sat in the courtroom with Attorney General Luther Strange.
Ben Miree said he believes Lee deserved death, and he gave a tearful message to reporters.
Miree said, "If we knew that when we had a child that he would be somebody we were proud of, but after 23 years he would be taken away; if they had asked us if we would want to go ahead and do it, we would've said yes every time. "
So now, the judge's decision is final. Lee's family did not speak, but one relative said, 'It's all in God's hands.'
Lee's three co-defendants , who are also charged with capital murder, are still awaiting trial.
Lee's attorneys said they plan to file an appeal of the guilty verdict
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