TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - A jury of his peers has found Granville Ritchie guilty of murder in the 2014 killing of 9-year-old Felecia Williams.
Closing arguments wrapped up Wednesday and the jury began deliberating. By 4:30 p.m., they returned the guilty verdict.
Ritchie was accused of raping and killing 9-year-old Felecia Williams in 2014, then shoving her body in a suitcase, and dropping it off the Courtney Campbell Causeway bridge.
A doctor who took the stand Tuesday disagreed with the medical examiner's findings on the cause of death.
"Important to be was the fact that there was a pattern, where it wasn't a typical neck strangulation, where you got a lot of injury to all of the muscles up here in the neck," explained Dr. William Anderson, a pathologist. "That would indicate to me that a force was applied across the upper chest. I think there is a good chance there was somebody pressing the arm down or kneeling on the patient for a period of time."
Prosecutors challenged that, stilling claiming Williams was strangled.
Ritchie faces the death penalty. The sentencing phase will begin when court resumes Thursday morning.