After deliberating Friday afternoon, the jury has found Robert Gaines guilty of second degree murder in the 1993 killing of 8-year-old Lativia Johnson.

First thing Friday morning, Judge Robert Redford discussed substituting out one of the jurors with an alternate.  One of the female jurors told the judge that she has a plane ticket to Phoenix for Saturday.  She is concerned that deliberations will go into next week.

Redford and the attorneys decided to commence with deliberations, while Redford writes a letter to the airline to have her ticket switched in case court has to resume on Monday.

In court Thursday, Gaines took the stand in his own defense.  He told the court that his one-time friend Bobby Brown acted alone in the murder to get revenge after he was beaten.  Gaines also said Brown confessed the murder to him when they were both in jail together on unrelated matters in 1997.

Assistant Prosecutor Kellee Koncki told the jury in closing arguments that Gaines had plenty of opportunities to explain to the police what Brown did. She said he’s only coming forward now with a fabrication to save himself.

“Gaines hasn’t told you anything for years until today,” said Koncki.  “That he can fit as many of the pieces as he can together with.”

In closing, Beason pointed at motive.  He asked the jury to find a reason Robert Gaines would kill someone for Bobby Brown.

“Why would Robert Gaines, on a relationship that was based on only meeting at a club commit a shooting into a house?”

Bobby Brown, an alleged accommplice, pleaded to second degree murder.