A man said by prosecutors to have been the "mastermind" of the slaying of a musician in his Philadelphia-area home three days after Christmas in 2011 has been convicted of second-degree murder.
Jurors deliberated for nearly eight hours before convicting Jermaine M. Jackson, 20, of Trenton, N.J. on Monday, the Bucks County Courier Times reported.
Prosecutors said Jackson didn't pull the trigger but helped plan and carry out the robbery plot involving four other men that ended in the killing of Danny DeGennaro, 56, of Levitttown, Pa.
Jurors also convicted Jackson of robbery and conspiracy but acquitted him of first-degree murder, burglary and possessing an instrument of crime.
A well-known local musician, DeGennaro had played with Bo Diddley and Billy Squier. His daughter and other family members wept softly after the verdict.
"Justice has prevailed,'' the victim's sister, Linda, said as she left the courtroom. She said her brother was gone, but at least the defendant would be "locked up for good."
Some relatives of Jackson were emotional, and his father, Michael, appeared stunned as he left the court.
"He'll be all right. My son's gonna be all right,'' he said. "Tell everyone I said he'll be all right.''
Deputy District Attorney Matt Weintraub said he was pleased that jurors reached the verdict they did even though Jackson didn't pull the trigger. Four other men have been charged in the case.
"Jermaine Jackson was the mastermind,'' he said. "Without Jermaine Jackson, Danny DeGennaro would still be alive. He's the one who put the plan in motion."
Weintraub had told jurors in his closing argument that Jackson targeted DeGennaro as a way to send a message to his other drug customers.
"If you don't pay me I'll take what is mine. By force, by violence, by murder if necessary,'' he said.
Defense attorney Craig Penglase vowed to appeal, saying he was glad that the death penalty had been taken off the table during pretrial proceedings.
Penglase maintained that his client had been invited to the home for a drug transaction but had left by the time of the murder.
In his closing argument, he quoted witnesses who testified that Jackson was "furious" afterward because the shooting wasn't part of the robbery plan.
DeGennaro, 56, was found dead inside his family home on Crabtree Drive in Levittown on Dec. 28 shortly after 10 p.m.
DeGennaro died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, according to investigators.
The guitarist had performed with musicians including Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead and Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.