Guilty Verdict in Brighton murder trial - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Guilty Verdict in Brighton murder trial

FORT PIERCE, FL (WFLX) As he got fingerprinted, the now 20-year-old Jacob Brighton looked as though he was taking some deep breaths.

"I think the jury saw right through it," said Assistant State Attorney Tom Bakkedah.

On Wednesday, St. Lucie County jurors found Brighton guilty of two counts of first degree murder for killing his own mother and father, Richard and Penny.

"This was their day in court and I feel like they got justice," said the victims' niece Sherry Brighton.

Prosecutors were thanked by family members as they exited the courtroom. Jacob admitted to the murders back in 2007, but defense attorneys argued the then 16-year-old suffered from 'battered child syndrome' and his parents deserved to die because of repeated sexual abuse at the hands of his father.

"This was a bogus, absolutely false, defense. We knew it from the beginning," said Bakkedah.

Prosecutors argued it was a planned execution and Jacob told friends what he was going to do. They also said the claims of sexual abuse only surfaced a year after his arrest.

"We tried the best we could. Unfortunately the jury didn't agree with us," said Brighton's defense attorney Marc Shiner. "Tough case whenever children do anything to parents. It's not often that a juror accepts they have a right to kill their parents."

Family members are relieved, but forever haunted by images and memories of that fateful day in 2007.

Jacob Brighton is ineligible for the death penalty since he was a juvenile at the time of the shooting.

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