A Florida jury has found William David
Brown guilty of robbing and murdering Ryan Keith Skipper, a gay man,
ABC news reported.
The Polk County trial opened on October
26. Prosecutors allege Brown and co-defendant Joseph Bearden killed
Skipper, whose body was found abandoned with 19 cuts.
Skipper's bloody body was found near
the side of a dirt road that leads to the small town of Wahneta in
the early hours of March 14, 2007. Investigators first suggested
that Skipper, 25, was killed because he made sexual advances towards
one of the men. A claim friends, family and gay rights groups
decried as character assassinations.
While Brown has admitted to
investigators that he stole Skipper's car and set it on fire, he
insists he did not see who stabbed Skipper to death, saying he
Bearden was sentenced to life in prison
after a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder during a
separate trial in February. During his trial, Associate Medical
Examiner Vera Volnikh testified that a slash to the throat 3.5 inches
deep killed Skipper, who quickly bled to death.
The coroner said it appeared as if
Skipper attempted to fight off his attackers. Cuts found on the
victim's hands, wrists and arms indicate he tried to block the knife.
Some cuts were deeper than others, leaving the possibility that
Skipper's 163-pound body blunted the blades of two knives.
Brown did not testify on his own