Jury returns guilty verdicts in Layla Jones murder trial - WNEM TV 5

Jury returns guilty verdicts in Layla Jones murder trial

Posted: Updated:
Layla Jones Layla Jones

Following six hours of deliberation, a jury has returned a verdict against two men accused of killing a six-year-old girl.

Michael Lawrence and Rico Saldana were both found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder in the slaying of six-year-old Layla Jones, who was in town visiting from Wisconsin. Prosecutors say the two shot the young girl in a drive by shooting in Saginaw during the summer of 2012. Judge Darnell Jackson is presiding over the case.

Jones' family were in tears listening to the verdict as it was read back by the jurors.

Both men declined to testify during the trial.

Before jury selection in the trial could start, Judge Jackson addressed a motion by Lawrence's attorney William White to move the trial to another venue.

White states "excessive coverage" of Michael Lawrence in both this trial and his murder case involving the killing of his former girlfriend, Angelica Olivarez as a reason that his client would not be able to get a fair trial.

Saldana's attorney, Jim Piazza, concurred but Judge Jackson disagreed – citing the Ken Bleuw trial at evidence that defendants in a high profile case can still get a fair trial.

In a separate motion, White asked that the trials be separated because Lawrence and Saldana had two very different accounts of what happened on the day Jones was shot and killed.

Prosecutors quickly pointed out that neither defendant planned to testify and point the finger at anyone else - so therefore White's motion was a moot point. The judge did not grant White's motion.

In July 2013, another man, JeVonne Greer, was convicted on 18 felony counts including murder, in the shooting death of Layla. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Click here to sign up for Breaking News texts, here for our email newsletters and alerts and here to follow us on Twitter.

Copyright 2014 WNEM (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, WNEM; Saginaw, MI. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.