FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The two men convicted of fatally beating a homeless man will remain behind bars until their sentencing in October, but the victim's family faces a life sentence of grief.
A jury found Brian Hooks, 21, and Thomas Daugherty, 19, guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal beating of Norris Gaynor, 45, on Jan. 12, 2006. Hooks and Daugherty also were convicted of attempted second-degree murder for two other attacks that night, one of which was captured on surveillance video.
Daugherty showed his first sign of emotion during the trial when he broke into tears after the verdict was read. The pair could face life in prison.
For Gaynor's parents, Sam and Georgia Gaynor, the verdicts brought little comfort.
"I haven't gotten over the hurt of losing my son," Sam Gaynor said. "Nothing has equated or diluted or moved that hurt out of my heart."
"He will always be my baby, and I feel the loss," Georgia Gaynor said.
The family members of those found guilty also are experiencing loss, and at least one of the defendants, Daugherty, feels remorse.
"He was upset. He was crying," said Daugherty's attorney, Michael Gottlieb. "He did ask me if he could say something to the Gaynors, and I told him that now is not the appropriate time."
"A life has been lost. Other lives have been forever altered. No verdict changes that," said prosecutor Brian Cavanaugh.
Now that the verdict is in, Hooks and Daugherty must wait while defense attorneys prepare their arguments for leniency at the sentencing hearing, scheduled for October. Gaynor's family also plans to appear in court then in order to remind the judge of the loss of their son.
Copyright 2011 by Post-Newsweek Stations. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed