Praying for strength to forgive: Murder victim's family holds vigil following killer's conviction
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Just hours after a man was convicted for the murder of Prentiss "Tyree" Britton, friends and family gathered to remember him Thursday evening, and to pray for the ability to forgive his killer.
A Caddo Parish jury found 20-year-old Andrew Smith guilty of second degree murder on Thursday afternoon. Surveillance video during the 4-day trial shows Smith trying to chase Britton around a car in the parking lot outside the Peach Street Apartments before running up over the car in a fit of rage and opening fire on him.
Not long before the shooting, Britton had reportedly beaten Smith up because he believed Smith had broken into his apartment. In a fit of rage, Smith went and got a semi-automatic weapon with a high-capacity magazine and returned to confront Britton.
More than 2-dozen shots were fired, striking Britton 16 times. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. It took the jury just over 2 hours to return a guilty verdict on Thursday afternoon.
Britton's family and friends say the purpose of the vigil was not to celebrate that a young man will go to prison, but a time to be grateful that justice was served.
"Help us to get to a place someday where we can forgive Andrew Smith," prayed one family member as friends and relatives of Britton gathered for a candlelight vigil outside Lake Bethlehem Baptist Church on Martin Luther King Drive.
Smith is set for a sentencing hearing in Caddo Parish court on Monday. He faces life in prison.
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