EVERETT, Washington — A jury found a man not guilty of murder on Monday in the drive-by killing of a 15-year-old Seattle girl and instead convicted him of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
After deliberating less than two days, jurors In Snohomish County Superior Court also found Erick Walker, 28, guilty of assault and drive-by shooting.
Molly Conley, a freshman at Seattle's Bishop Blanchet High School, was fatally shot walking along a road while celebrating her birthday on June 1, 2013, with friends in Lake Stevens.
Molly's father, John Conley, said outside court that he was disappointed the jury did not convict Walker of murder.
"Molly was a beautiful, beautiful child, a beautiful girl and we all miss her so much," he told KIRO-TV of Seattle.
Prosecutors say Walker, of Marysville, went on a three-hour shooting spree, indiscriminately firing from his car and hitting homes in Lake Stevens and Marysville.
The defense noted the bullet that killed Conley was never found.
Defense lawyer Mark Mestel told jurors that police assumed the killing and the other drive-by shootings were connected. Authorities stopped looking at other suspects once they had Walker in custody, Mestel said.
The trial lasted three weeks, with sentencing set for April 21.
Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldnet.com
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