The verdict is guilty in the Tyree Roberts murder trial. The case went to the jury late yesterday afternoon and deliberations resumed this morning in the Beaufort County Courthouse. The sentencing phase begins tomorrow morning at about 11:45am. That's when friends and family of the victims will tell the jury why or why not Roberts should face the death penalty.
Earlier today, it was an emotional time at the courthouse when the verdict came down. "This morning, I woke up and I said, 'This man's going down today,'" widow DJ Coursen told us. After two weeks of testimony, Roberts was convicted of killing her husband, AJ Coursen, and fellow officer Dana Tate, in January of 2002.
"Finally, everybody knows the truth," added Coursen, "and just is going to be served."
While many in the courtroom breathed a sigh of relief, Roberts showed no emotion. "He felt nothing, he felt no remorse, you could tell," said Coursen.
But after nearly two years of waiting for this day, Coursen says it's hard to describe exactly how she feels. "I really don't have words to describe how I feel right now. I feel almost like when they came to my house and said, 'Your husband didn't make it.' It's a numbness."
In the coming days, Coursen, along with other family and friends, will have to give her impact statement to the jury to help members decide if Roberts will be given life in prison or put to death. "The next phase it what I'm waiting for, and I'm really okay with whatever the outcome is," she said.
After the verdict came down today, Roberts did ask the judge to overturn it, as well as asking for a new trial. The judge denied those motions.