PORT ANGELES — Thomas Martin Roberts stared straight ahead without expression in the crowded courtroom Thursday as a jury delivered its verdict on the slaying of deputy Wally Davis — guilty.
Behind Roberts, his family sat quietly.
Across the courtroom, Davis’ daughter Jessie cried, his mother smiled and a dozen law enforcement officers breathed sighs of relief.
“It’s very hard to believe it’s over,” said Davis’ widow, Lisa, who arrived for the verdict with her son, Jacob, born seven months after his father was killed Aug. 5, 2000. “It’s the best thing that could have happened.”
A 12-person Island County jury deliberated for three hours Thursday morning in Clallam County Superior Court before rejecting Roberts’ insanity plea and finding him guilty of aggravated first-degree murder.
The courtroom was silent as grim-faced jurors entered the room and kept their eyes downcast while the jury foreman read the verdict.
Attorneys for Roberts, 56, presented a case of schizophrenia and long-term mental illness in the three-week trial, but failed to win the case.
As a result, Roberts faces life in prison with little chance of treatment.
His sentencing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday before Superior Court Judge George L. Wood.
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