RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A jury found Darryl Jefferson guilty of two counts of first degree murder and two gun charges in the deaths of two brothers late Monday night.
The shootings stemmed from a fight over dog waste at an old Manchester apartment complex.
The jury recommended the minimum sentence, which is a total of 46 years in prison. Jefferson is 37-years-old. He'd be in his eighties by the time he's released.
Jurors were shown one picture too graphic for publication. It shows Ahkeem and Ahmad Phillips speaks volumes. One brother lies with his arm around the other. Both had been shot twice in the head.
"My husband was a great man; he was a great father," Ahkeem's wife Chaquita said. "Ahmad was a great uncle. I mean, it ain't gonna bring them back."
The prosecution relied on forensic evidence to make its case. 24-year-old Ahmad was shot eight times. His brother, 28-year-old Ahkeem, was shot five times. Twenty-four shell casings were found at the scene. None were from the gun found with the brothers. No eyewitnesses came forward.
"I've got two men, defenseless, broken legs, already been shot, laying on the ground, fight's over and then he puts five shots into their heads and necks," explained prosecutor Learned Barry.
Darryl Jefferson maintained he shot the Phillips men out of self defense. During a taped interrogation, he told police, "He was gonna kill me. He already tried."
"The only version that we have of this is his," defense attorney Vaughan C. Jones said. "His version is that it was self defense. I believed him. I thought he was credible."
The fight all started over dog droppings left in the hallway in front of Ahmad's apartment.
"Our young black men don't value life," the victims' mother, Roslyn Phillips said after the verdict came down. "It's sad that the police were called to the scene more than twice and it still escalated. It's just sad all around."
Jefferson's attorney says he definitely will be appealing the verdict.
Randy Trent, the other man charged in the murders, is scheduled for trial in October.