The decision was what Denise Reed has waited for. She told ABC7 as a mother she knew in her heart that Carail weeks was guilty of killing her daughter. She says she'll let the system work to determine how long he spends in prison. What she wanted was a guilty verdict.
Denise Reed holds the diploma from Harper High School she accepted this spring on her daughter's behalf. More than three years after she was killed by a stray bullet as she got ready for school. It was a murder that garnered attention around the city. It was before eight o'clock in the morning when the 14-year-old girl went to the window to look for her friends. A bullet from an assault weapon fired down the street struck her in the head.
"It could have been a massacre on that block but Starkesia was the only one who was struck and killed," said Reed.
The man who fired the shot was 24-year-old Carail Weeks. Investigators say his apparent target was a man he was in a dispute with over a woman. Police arrested him within a week of the shooting. They linked the weapon used to him. And witnesses at the scene identified him. Still his first trial in December ended in a mistrial.
This time, however, jurors took just two hours to find him guilty of three counts of first degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. Denise reed attended every minute of the trials.
"The court will take care of the sentencing part, but to have him guilty was enough for me. So now I can breathe," said Reed.
Starkesia reed was on the honor roll. She was a cheerleader. She was involved in her church. Her goal was to become a doctor. Now her mother hopes some good can come from her death.
"I pray in my heart that somehow his heart can understand that what he did was wrong," said Reed.
Prosecutors say Weeks stayed up all night planning the shooting spree that killed Starkesia Reed early on a Friday morning.
Weeks is due back in court for sentencing early next month. Weeks faces a minimum of 45 years in prison.