Jury Finds Man Guilty In Murder Of Kayla Ferrante
TULSA, Oklahoma -
The jury returned with a verdict of guilty in the shooting death of Kay Ferrante Tuesday afternoon.
Kayla had just graduated from Memorial High School in 2012 and planned to devote her life to working with special needs children. Those plans ended the night she was shot and killed while riding in a car with her boyfriend.
Jurors found Edwin Daniels guilty of murder and guilty of shooting with intent to kill. The jury recommended life in prison.
The minute the verdict was read, Kayla's father took off his shirt, revealing a t-shirt that had Kayla's face on it, something he wasn't allowed to display in front of the jury during the trial.
Closing arguments were made Tuesday morning by the prosecuting and defense attorneys in the trial. Ferrante was shot and killed while riding in a car just after high school graduation. Prosecutors say Daniels fired the shot, thinking a rival gang member was inside the car.
The district attorney asked the jury to find Edwin guilty of murder and send him to prison for life without parole.
They said Daniels is here because he is stupid. Stupid because he buried the murder weapon in his aunt's backyard and confessed to another gang member.
They say he was a nobody, a "wanna be" gang member who trying to build up his reputation on the street by shooting at what he thought was a car containing rival gang members.
But instead, they say he shot into a car containing Kayla Ferrante.
Tulsa County Assistant District Attorney, Kali Strain, said, "Everybody who's touched this case has had an emotional reaction. You can't help but have an emotional reaction because she was a beautiful, innocent girl who did not deserve this at all."
Edwin Daniels' attorney said other than the murder weapon, the prosecution has no evidence. He says the DA had no eye witness, no DNA, and no fingerprints to back up their claims.
The defense attorney also said Daniels had an alibi that his brother, sister and girlfriend testified to. He said the DA's star witness was a big time gang member who had just as much motive and framed Daniels for the crime.
At one point, the jury sent out a note asking the judge if they could convict based only on circumstantial evidence.
"They hear all the state has is circumstantial evidence and they need to understand under the law, circumstantial is just as good, as strong as any direct evidence you get," Strain said.
The DA says that witness had no motive and told the truth about Daniels confessing to the crime and admitting the gun was buried in the backyard of Daniels' aunt, which is where police found it.
They say that witness didn't shoot Kayla because he is careful about who he goes after, that "he doesn't do innocents."