The man accused of killing a manager at Church's Chicken is off the streets for good. A jury found Derek Horne guilty of murder. This has been a tough week for the victim's family and the Horne family, and when the jury handed the judge the verdict, there was dead silence.
"Count one, malice murder, we the jury find the defendant guilty. Count two, felony murder, we the jury find the defendant guilty," read the foreman.
Horne stood steadfast next to his attorney as he heard his fate. The jury found him guilty on a total of 20 different charges, including murder.
In February, 2004, Horne robbed the Church's Chicken restaurant on West Bay Street. When the manager, 25-year-old Sean Abraham, tried to get away, Horne chased him for three blocks. Then he shot him execution style while Sean pleaded for his life.
"That wee hours of the morning on February 7, 2004, when he killed my son, he killed himself, his life is over," said Pam Abraham, Sean's mother.
Sean's mother has been fighting to see justice for her son for more than a year now. There were a lot of tears today, of sadness and relief.
"Now I'm going to go and put fresh flowers on my son's grave and I'm going to tell him, 'Baby boy, you can now rest in peace because the man who killed you is put away now so you can rest in peace.'"
Since Sean's death, Pam has been fighting for justice for her son and for all victims. She's part of the mayor's crime task force. "We are all citizens of Savannah, we can sleep tonight, we can sleep. One more person thanks to the jury in this case is off the streets and we're grateful."
She says Sean would be grateful too. "He'd say, 'Mom, well done, Mom, well done.'"
As for Horne, the judge will sentence him tomorrow afternoon at 2pm.
The other man charged in this crime--Charles Hill--is scheduled to go to trial this summer.