CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A Mecklenburg County jury has reached a verdict in the case of a man accused of shooting and killing a toddler in east Charlotte.
The jury has found Ellis Royster guilty of first-degree murder in the death of 2-year-old Amias Bernard Robinson.
"It was a long time coming," said Armisher Glenn, the toddler's mother. "It's finally a murderer, a predator off the street, and I think everybody can sleep good tonight."
It happened on Aug. 12, 2010. Eleven total shots rang out as a car drove by Royster's house on Eastbrook Road. The jury found Royster guilty of opening fire at the moving car. Although Amias was not the target, he was struck by three stray bullets from Royster's 9mm and died four days later at Carolina Medical Center.
Before he was sentenced to life in prison without parole, Amias’s father Charles Robinson spoke to Royster on behalf of the family.
"You hurt me, our family," Robinson said, as he pointed at Royster. "I just hope that one day you’ll be man enough to man up for what you did."
During the two week trial, Royster's defense tried to convince jurors that there was not enough evidence to convict Royster. This included lack of a murder weapon and witnesses who changed what they initially told police about the shooting.
Alvin Alexander spent two months in jail in connection to this case, as witnesses first identified him as the shooter. Alexander, who is behind bars for an unrelated crime, testified against Royster. In his testimony, Alexander said the dispute stemmed from a drug deal gone bad.
Charges were dropped against Alexander after a witness recanted their statement identifying him as the shooter.
A second witness identified Royster, leading to his arrest, and ultimately, his conviction.
Royster's attorney said he plans to appeal the conviction.