The murders occurred due to a drug deal gone bad between two rival gangs. The weird part is that the evidence against the defendants was quite convincing, but still the jury took FOUR weeks to come to a verdict in the guilt phase, which of course was guilty. So the defendants faced the death penalty. If took the jury almost three days to decide between death and life w/o parole, which is kind of a long time, since juries usually already know what they want to do, especially since they took FOUR weeks to find them guilty.
Now the bailiffs and the other lawyers at the PD's office have walked by the jury room and heard yelling and screaming through the door (the courthouse is kinda small and sound carries well because of all of the marble walls and floors). This, it seems, was a heated deliberation. By the way, the defendants retained private counsel, so I'm not crossing any ethical line by posting this.
Given all the hype surrounding the case and the age of the victims and the fact that fourteen year-old girls were shot as well (accidently, it seems), the courtroom buzz was that the defendants would receive the death penalty.
As the jury walked in, none of them looked at any of the defendants (which is a very bad sign). The judge received the jury's verdict and took a long time reading it (which is another very bad sign, because the jury has answer more questions in the affirmative in order to impose the death penalty). The judge then handed the verdict to the clerk, who read it. "We the jury...find that the defendant.... should be sentenced to (long pause) Life in Prison without the possibility of parole.
Life without parole for each defendant, on each count.
I looked at one of the defendants, who was smiling. Then the prosecutor, who was not. Then I looked at one of the defendant's mothers, who was crying. And lastly the family of the victims, who were sitting stoically. My heart went out to them all.