Beard brothers convicted of manslaughter, not guilty of murder in teen shooting trial
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In December of last year Justin Hesketh and Brandon Moore were shot and killed in a northwest Fresno apartment complex. Thursday, jurors found two brothers guilty of manslaughter.
It was emotional in the courtroom even before the clerk read the verdicts. Jarrad beard was shaking and his mother was crying even before the jurors entered the room.
Several members of the victim's family were also in tears before they heard the decision.
Not long after the court clerk began reading the verdicts, Brandon Moore's father left the courtroom saying, "this ain't over."
Disappointment was what many family members and friends of Brandon Moore and Justin Hesketh said they felt when they learned the Beard brothers were found not guilty on first and second degree murder.
Hesketh's mother says no matter what the jury decided, it doesn't change what happened.
"This doesn't do anything to bring back our sons, that loss will be with us forever. It's nice to know there's an end in sight to this but it isn't over. Our lives are ruined, it's never going to be what it was before," Debie Hesketh said.
Nearly two dozen law enforcement officers were in the courtroom when the final decision was read. Security was stepped up not only inside, several deputies also stood guard in hallways. And each spectator underwent another security check before they were allowed in .
Jarrad and Jerry beard's mother, Nikkia Rojas, cried the entire time the verdicts were put on the record. She left the courtroom without talking. One of her son's defense attorneys says Rojas has been very upset about the serious charges her sons were facing and the stressful trial.
"Nikkia has been in an intense state of distress from the day this took place but also this past week, I know she's just been holding vigil and holding out hope and praying. She's quite emotional right now," Scott Baly, Jerry Beard's attorney, said.
Hesketh's mother says no judgment or sentence will change the void she has everyday.
"Justin and Brandon are gone forever and nothing, no matter what the verdict could be was going to make a difference in that. So all we have to do is learn to live with the loss that we have," Hesketh said.
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