TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A jury has found Granville Ritchie guilty on all charges in the death of 9-year-old Felecia Williams.
Ritchie was found guilty of first-degree murder, sexual battery and aggravated child abuse on Wednesday. He was accused of raping and killing Williams back in 2014 in Tampa.
The jury found him guilty on all charges after about four hours of deliberations.
The trial will head to the penalty phase Thursday as the jury will now need to decide if Ritchie faces the death penalty.
State prosecutors during closing arguments told the jury, “There is a mountain of evidence” that points toward Ritchie as the murderer. They pointed to a 911 phone call they believe Williams made after the woman watching her that day, Eboni Wiley, left her at Ritchie’s place to buy marijuana.
Prosecutors also recounted testimony from plant and sand experts saying the sand found in Ritchie’s car was a 99% match to the sand found where the little girl’s body was found near the Courtney Campbell Causeway.
They pointed to a mangrove leaf found on Ritchie’s car that also was a match to leaves found near the body.
The defense, in the meantime, argued all evidence presented was circumstantial. Ritchie’s attorney pointed to the fact that there was no DNA evidence, nor were there any signs of sexual battery on the girl’s body.
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