LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - On Tuesday, a jury inside a Lee County Courtroom decided a Tuskegee man was guilty of stabbing his friend more than 30 times.
The family of 24-year-old Richard "Kenny" Devore embraced and cried after hearing the jurors finding 24-year old Gregory Gray Jr., guilty of murder.
"This is something I never want any parent to have to go through, the loss of a child regardless how. But, my heart is full. The pain, God is healing it," said Ronda Devore, the victim's mother.
Devore's mother passed out during the trial, overwhelmed by crime scene photo's shown to jurors of her son's mutilated body in his blood soaked Auburn apartment.
The defense argued Gray was using self defense. However, the jury sided with prosecutors who argued just before Christmas in 2013, Gray stabbed Devore more than 30 times at the victim's Garden District Apartment, drove to pick up fast food, then to his Tuskegee home, where he placed the murder weapon - a folding knife - into a juice bottle and threw it in the trash can outside his apartment.
"The action he did, to stab someone thirty times, it's just unreal," said Richard Devore Senior, the victim's father.
"I love my little brother with all my heat and as an older sister it pains me I could not protect him from this," said Devore's sister, Rhonda Jones.
Gray's mother, father and attorney declined to speak after the guilty verdict. With Gray deciding not to testify, Devore's family may never know what started the fight that led to their son's murder.
"I am just like everyone else. The question is why. Why. So I am not going to ask that anymore, I am going to be free with this verdict and I am well pleased," Devore's mother said.
According to investigators, Gray and Devore knew each other and were friends through their time together at Tuskegee University. Devore's family says he was taking a semester off to work and was one semester away from graduating with a degree in chemistry and supply chain management.
Gray was also a student at Tuskegee, where his father is a well known educator. According to Tuskegee's website, Dr. Gregory S. Gray, Sr. has served as Dean of the Chapel and University Professor of Religion and Society at Tuskegee University since 1999.
Gregory Gray Jr. will be sentenced on December 15th. Prosecutors are asking for life in prison.