Man convicted of kililng two at party

February 20, 2009 4:49:44 AM PST
A man faces death or life in prison without parole for killing a 5-year-old girl and her grandmother after a shooting spree at a child's birthday party last year. Jurors deliberated about four hours Thursday before convicting Erick Daniel Davila, 21, of capital murder in the deaths of Queshawn Stevenson and Annette Stevenson, 48 who hosted the party for another grandchild. Annette Stevenson was shot as she threw herself over several youngsters, neighbors had said.

Several others were wounded that April night after a dark car pulled up and a man got out and began firing at the corner tan-and-brick duplex decorated with a "Happy Birthday" banner and balloons, authorities said.

The jury began hearing additional testimony Thursday afternoon to determine punishment for the Fort Worth man.

Davila intended to kill the victims when he focused the semiautomatic rifle's scope and laser beam on a porch full of women and children and fired at least eight shots, prosecutor Tiffany Burks told jurors in her closing arguments.

Prosecutor Robert Gill reminded jurors of Davila's statement to police saying he was trying to get back at a rival gang that shot him in 2005, and about a gang expert's testimony that gang members often retaliate against rival gang members' relatives.

Defense attorneys Robert Ford and Joetta Keene told jurors that Davila did not intend to kill those two victims but at the most, he was guilty of lesser charges of murder or manslaughter. Ford said Davila went to the house that night looking for Annette Stevenson's son and Queshawn's father -- a man said to be a member of a rival gang.

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