RALEIGH, N.C. — Jurors in the Matthew Grant trial Wednesday recommended that Grant be sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a deputy.
The jury deliberated for nearly four hours before returning the sentencing recommendation.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys made their closing arguments to the jury Tuesday afternoon, and the jury started deliberating the sentencing at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday before taking a break for the night at 5:15 p.m. They resumed deliberations at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday before returning the decision at 3:20 p.m.
The jury took seven hours to decide Grant was guilty on Nov. 17 of first-degree murder for killing Wake County Deputy Mark Tucker.
After the sentencing, the Grants and Tuckers shared a prayer.
"I told the Grants that I am not disappointed in this decision," said Dan Tucker, the victim's brother. "I think what happened, happened and taking another life isn't going to make it any better. It's not going to bring Mark back and it's not going to make us feel any better."
Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said the end of the trial will help those affected recover.
"It will be closure for us," Harrison said. "It will be something we won't ever forget, of course. But it will be closure. It will be closure for the Tucker family, it will be closure for the Grants. They at least know what the future is now."
Three prosecution witnesses testified Monday that Tucker was on duty as an officer when he was shot. The prosecution then rested its case in the sentencing phase.
The defense witnesses who were called to the stand talked about good times with Grant, painting a picture of a real person for the jury.
Grant's grandmother, who was also his adoptive mother, told jurors her grandson strived to be a good person.
From church members to teachers to family friends, the witnesses told jurors Grant was a polite young man with potential.
In February 2004, authorities said Grant, 19, of Apex was on probation at the time of the shooting that occurred in a field near Tucker's Holly Springs home and was not supposed to have a firearm.
Authorities said Grant shot and killed Tucker when the deputy stopped to see what he was doing.