TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A Toledo man may spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of murder Wednesday.
A jury determined that Darnell Bryant-Bey, 20, is guilty of murder in the July murder Sheldon Hicks. It took the jury nine hours to deliberate.
"I was concerned. And I prepped Shelton's mother for that possibility [of a hung jury] and realized that we may have to do this again, and we may have to do it fast," prosecutor Frank Spryszak said. "Obviously, 'Not guilty' we don't get another shot at it. So we were hoping if they were struggling, as they were, at least if we had a hung jury, we could get another shot at it. But thankfully we were able to get a guilty verdict."
The murder happened in north Toledo in July when police say a group of guys approached Hicks and his friend on bicycles. Before leaving, Bryan-Bey fired a bullet, which struck Hicks in the head.
Prosecutors told the jury they believed there was a long-standing feud between Hicks and Bryant-Bey.
Several witnesses were called to the stand during the trial, including a friend of Hicks who was with Hicks when he was shot. The testimony was key to the trial because there was little scientific evidence presenting during the trial, causing frustration for prosecutors.
"Juries tend to want it wrapped up in a neat little bow. They want the finger print evidence and DNA evidence," Spryszak said. "And because those shows have been on for a while, and DNA has been around for a long time, they forget that we were able to prove crimes without scientific evidence in the past."
When the foreman finally read the verdict, Bryan-Bey's looked almost shocked at the verdict, a contrast to the family of Shelton Hicks, who were openly sobbing and hugging in the courtroom.
Prosecutors say while they feel the verdict was justified, it does little to stop the cycle of violence Toledo has experienced.
"It seems like too much of a social norm," Spryszak said. "We had a young man gunned down in broad daylight by a school."
Bryant-Bey will be sentenced next month. He faces 18 years to life in prison.