|Published:||Oct 29, 2010 3:48 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 29, 2010 12:48 PM EDT|
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - Jurors have convicted a karate instructor of killing a wealthy Florida couple during a home invasion robbery while the couple's nine special-needs children cowered or slept nearby.
The Pensacola jury deliberated about five hours Thursday before finding Patrick Gonzalez Jr. guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion robbery. Prosecutors say he led the July 9, 2009, attack by a group of armed men that dressed as ninjas to attack Byrd and Melanie Billings.
Gonzalez is a 36-year-old father of six. He now faces a sentence of death or life in prison.
A safe taken from the family's home contained nothing of value, but a second safe that wasn't stolen had $164,000 in cash.