CAPITOL HEIGHTS, Md. (WJLA) - A Charles County man was convicted Monday of second-degree murder and armed robbery in the deadly shooting of a Prince George's County teenager who was on his way to school nearly two years ago.
A jury found Travon Bennett, 20, guilty in the slaying of 18-year-old Central High School honor student Marckel Ross on the morning of Sept. 11, 2012 in the 6100 block of Central Avenue in Capitol Heights.
One of the key pieces of evidence against Bennett was a gun he used in a 2012 robbery that police linked to Ross' fatal shooting, which occurred during a botched robbery.
Prosecutors said Bennett shot Ross when he refused to give up his cell phone and iPod.
The defense had contended the prosecution's case was purely circumstantial and there was no direct evidence that actually placed Bennett at the scene of the crime.
Bennett faces life in prison when he is sentenced in October.
Elizabeth Ross, Marckel Ross' mother, says she is rejoicing over the guilty verdict.
"Why rejoice?" she said. "Because, we was at a point. I didn't know whether this boy was gonna get off or not."
Ross spent a nerve-wracking week not only staring into the eyes of Travon Bennett, on trial for her son's murder, but also trying to stare into the hearts of the jurors.
"I prayed," she said. "I asked God to let the jury see, as well as I see, that he's guilty."
Jurors deliberated just two hours. "Guilty" and "second-degree murder" were all Elizabeth Ross heard before dissolving into tears.
Ross prayed for justice and says her angel answered.
"I know Marckel is up in heaven, with his wings, just dancin' 'cause he used to love to dance," she said, smiling. "I know he got them wings flappin' all over the place."
Despite her grief, Ross says she forgives Bennett.