After four hours of deliberating, jurors found Dontae Morris guilty of killing two Tampa police officers.
Morris, 28, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of officers Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis, who were shot during a traffic stop during the early morning hours of June 29, 2010.
After the verdict was read, family members of officers quietly wiped tears while police officers in the audience said "yes" under their breaths and pumped their fists.
The jury of eight men and four women, who were brought in from Orlando, began deliberations around 3:20 p.m. on Friday afternoon. A verdict was reached just before 7:30 p.m.
An emotional news conference followed the verdict where widow Kelly Curtis and Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor thanked officers and held back tears.
"We are very pleased with the outcome of the trial and relieved that he will not be able to hurt anyone else in this community," said widow Kelly Curtis.
"There is no verdict that is going to bring Jeff and Dave back," said Castor. "But tonight this gives us some closure and just a little bit of relief."
On Friday, the state called its final witnesses. Morris' defense team had no witnesses to present.
The prosecution wrapped up their case with testimony from DNA experts. Evidence laid out against Morris included dashboard camera video showing the officers' deaths and his alleged confession to his ex-lover.
After, Judge William Fuente told Morris he had the right to testify. However, Morris told the judge he had decided not to testify.
"I know my decision … not testify," Morris said. "I won't testify."
Fuente told jurors they couldn't hold Morris' refusal to testify against him. They could only weigh the evidence the state has presented.
Morris' attorneys asked for three mistrials in three days. All of those motions were denied but those motions could lead to appeals.
The sentencing phase will begin Tuesday, Nov. 19. Morris faces the death penalty.
The jurors, who have been sequestered, will stay in Tampa Friday night. Plans call for them to be bused to Orlando on Saturday and return to Tampa on Tuesday morning for the penalty phase of the trial, the judge said. They are no longer sequestered but must avoid the news media. They are also not allowed to read about the case or discuss it with anyone during the weekend.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn released the following statement:
“Justice has been served. Today, the jury did their part to ensure that Morris will never walk our streets or have the opportunity to inflict evil on our community again.
“Officers Kocab and Curtis were fathers, husbands, friends, and they both faithfully protected our community. The entire city has been affected by the loss of Jeff and Dave, the subsequent manhunt, and the trial this week. It was an event that changed this community.
"My thoughts and prayers today are with Jeff and Dave’s families, friends, and colleagues at the Tampa Police Department. I hope that this verdict provides them a small measure of solace."
On Twitter, former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio said, "A time to reflect on the service and sacrifice of officers Dave Curtis and Jeffery Kocab. They made our community safer and served with honor.