COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Nearly two weeks after opening statements began in the trial of one of two men accused of killing a local businessman, a verdict was reached.
Eric Grant was found guilty for the murder of George Maldanado, along with several other guilty counts including assault and aggravated robbery.
“Our hearts all just dropped and we were kind of relieved," George's younger sister, Theresa Maldonado, told 11 News after the verdict. "But again, you know, he’s still not here.”
“I’m just happy this part is over," said George's mother, Martha Maldonado. "I miss George terribly. No one knows what a mother goes through when they lose their kid. Especially to another person’s hand.”
During opening statements May 31, the defense team for Eric Grant argued their client was never at the scene of Maldonado's murder at all.
Maldonado was killed July 13, 2017 during a robbery at his auto service shop, FullThrottle. A second victim was gravely injured but survived the attack.
Two men were caught on camera appearing to pose as utility workers.
Grant was captured in Philadelphia three months after the killing after he fled the Springs. His alleged accomplice, Derrick Davis, was arrested before that in Minnesota.
Grant's defense told jurors at the start of the trial that there was scant evidence tying him to the crime. They pointed out the man seen in the surveillance clip had bare arms, unlike Grant whose arms are tattooed.
They argued none of Grant's DNA or his fingerprints were found at the scene or in the suspect vehicle. They also claimed Grant's cell phone was picked up in the area of FullThrottle because he lived nearby.
Grant is set to be sentenced on Thursday, where he's expected to serve life in prison.
Davis' trial will begin in August.
“All I do is think of my brother and then I’ll smile and that gets me through," said Theresa. "And I’ll remember the hugs that he would give us because my brother loved giving us bear hugs. “