SALINAS, Calif. The first of two defendants charged with the murder of Brookings Realtor Judi Schlem was found guilty Friday of voluntary manslaughter with use of a firearm plus attempted robbery and use of a firearm.
The Salinas trial of Brian Keith Randall, 31, lasted almost three weeks, concluding more than a year after the shooting took place.
Schlem was unloading Christmas packages at the Salinas home of her son and daughter-in-law Dec. 13, 2000, when she was killed by a stray bullet during crossfire in an aborted drug deal.
Monterey County Deputy District Attorney Tim Roberts said, We didnt get what we had hoped for felony manslaughter and murder in the second degree.
The maximum penalty for Randalls conviction is 21 years and eight months in prison, Roberts said.
If convicted of felony murder in the second degree, he would have received a life sentence without possible parole, he said.
The trial ended and the jury began deliberations at approximately 4 p.m. Tuesday. They worked every day, Roberts said about the jury members.
On Wednesday, Monterey County Deputy District Attorney Terry Spitz, who prosecuted the case, said the deliberations have gone on too long.
The jury requested a court appearance Friday morning to ask some additional questions, Roberts said.
They returned to deliberations at 11 a.m. and reached a verdict at approximately 1 p.m.
Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 14 and Randall remains in custody at the Monterey County Jail.
Roberts said he will be the prosecuting attorney for Randalls co-defendant, Robert Allen Langley Jr., 27, who is charged with participating in the attempted robbery and fatal shooting.
Roberts said a trial date for Langley will be set in a couple of weeks.