UPDATE: 1:24 p.m. EST
According to WESH, a jury has found Everett Miller guilty of first degree murder for killing two Kissimmee police officers back in 2017.
The jury took less than two hours to deliberate and reach the verdict.
Miller still has to be sentenced.
Jurors will begin deliberating this morning at the Osceola County Courthouse in the trial of Everett Glenn Miller, the Marine Corps veteran accused of fatally shooting two Kissimmee police officers in 2017.
Miller, 47, could face execution if convicted in the killings of 36-year-old Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard and 26-year-old Officer Matthew Baxter.
Prosecutors told the 12-member jury during closing arguments Tuesday that Miller was motivated by his hatred for police and wanted to “make a statement” with the killings. After ambushing Howard and Baxter with shots to the head, prosecutors said he re-positioned both bodies parallel to each other and fired again at the officers’ faces.
But Miller’s defense attorneys said Miller, upset over high-profile police brutality cases, got into an altercation with Baxter after seeing the officer harass people. His lawyers argued the state proved second-degree murder, but not the premeditation required for first-degree murder.
Baxter was conducting a routine check into three suspicious people the night of Aug. 18, 2017, when a witness said Miller suddenly drove up and started asking, “Why the [expletive] you messing with my peoples?”
After Baxter called Howard to the scene, Miller argued with the two officers, saying he feared for his life and telling them he had a license to carry a concealed weapon, the witness said.
Prosecutors say Miller shot Baxter and Howard in the head and face, then went to a bar on Orange Blossom Trail, where he was arrested.
Miller’s family and friends told the Orlando Sentinel after the shooting he had been struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder after coming home from a two-decade military career, but jurors did not hear evidence regarding any diminished mental capacity because Circuit Judge Greg A. Tynan ruled Miller’s attorneys could not use his “abnormal mental condition” as a defense to the killings.
This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.
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