TAMPA, Fla. — The jury in the Granville Ritchie case recommended he receive a sentence of death Friday evening.
- Sentencing phase taking place in Granville Ritchie trial
- Ritchie found guilty this week of the 2014 killing of a 9-year-old girl
- Ritchie could face the death penalty
- PREVIOUS: Felecia William's mother testifies in Granville Ritchie's sentencing
The jury deliberated for about three hours before turning in a verdict.
Felecia Demerson, the victim's mother, said her family is relieved it's finally over and they are ready to start healing.
"It's been a long time in coming," she said. "A long five years and it's how long our family and everyone in the community and everyone that my daughter touched has been waiting on this justice."
Earlier this week, a jury found Ritchie guilty of murder and rape in the 2014 killing of 9-year-old Felecia Williams. Ritchie did not take the stand to testify in his own defense.
Earlier on Friday, Ritchie's attorney called up a neuropsychiatry expert who examined Ritchie's brain scans to see if there were any abnormalities. Dr. Joseph Wu - a neuropsychiatrist - testifies that convicted child killer Granville Ritchie has symptoms consistent with traumatic brain injury.
"Yes, it's a cumulative neurological damage that gets worse and worse," Wu said of Ritchie's brain injuries and abnormalities. "(Caused by) Early childhood physical abuse."
Ritchie has said he suffered multiple head injuries from physical abuse and motorcycle accidents.
After hearing from the doctor, the defense showed a video from Ritchie's family in Jamaica: They talked about the high crime and poverty there and the abuse Ritchie endured growing up.
If Ritchie is sentenced to death, this would be the first case in Hillsborough County since the capitol punishment law changed in Florida, requiring a unanimous decision from jurors.