For the second time since 2004, Robert Martin's family sat through a trial and watched as Lafayette Cosby was convicted of first-degree murder for Martin's death.
"I'm excited that our family is done with this for now," said Rodney Farmer, Martin's brother.
A Douglas County jury deliberated for four hours Tuesday before it convicted Cosby for shooting and killing 28-year-old Martin on April 4, 2004, at a late-night party at a southern Lawrence apartment complex.
Late last year, the Kansas Supreme Court overturned a November 2004 conviction and granted Cosby, now 28, a new trial after he spent time in prison. A majority of justices had ruled that the district attorney's office at the time and District Judge Jack Murphy committed errors in the first trial.
James McCabria, an assistant district attorney, and David Melton, chief assistant district attorney, handled the case this time for District Attorney Charles Branson's office. Christine Kenney was the district attorney during the first trial, and Dave Zabel was also a prosecutor, according to news reports.
Kenney declined to comment on the trial.
"Obviously we're sorry that Robert Martin's family had to be put through this again, but it turned out well for them," Melton said. "And even though this was a four-year-old case, we tackled it as hard as we would any case."
He credited investigator Catherine Born, a retired Lawrence police officer, with locating several witnesses for the new trial. He also said jurors seemed to focus on testimony from witnesses in the apartment that night who said Cosby walked up to Martin and shot him three times while Martin was sitting on a couch.
Although intentional second-degree murder was also an option, Cosby's attorney Greg Robinson said the defense had pushed for the jury to be able to also consider a manslaughter conviction or self-defense.
Unlike the first trial, Cosby did not testify. Robinson had argued that jurors didn't have enough evidence to find that Cosby intended to kill Martin with premeditation. He also said someone could have removed evidence from the crime scene before police were able to investigate it.
Although the defense was disappointed, Robinson said Cosby was more pleased this time with how prosecutors presented their case.
"This wasn't a personal attack of Mr. Cosby. It was a resuscitation of the facts," Robinson said.
Martin and Cosby were acquaintances, but they had a rocky history. A Douglas County jury had acquitted Cosby and found he acted in self-defense in a 1997 incident when he stabbed and killed David E. Walker II, one of Martin's friends.
Cosby was calm when Murphy read the verdict. As he walked out of the courtroom, his mother, Reta Cosby said, "I love you, son."
"Love you, momma," he said.
Reta Cosby said they plan to appeal again because she didn't believe jurors heard all the evidence. She did say she hoped Martin's mother could "find peace" after losing her son.
"My heart goes out to her for that," she said.
After the first conviction, Murphy sentenced Cosby to 25 years to life in prison. Murphy will sentence him again Monday, and Robinson said Cosby would likely get credit for the nearly four years he has served.