After two hours of deliberations, a jury of 12 has found William Brown, Jr. guilty of first degree murder and robbery with a deadly weapon.
From Ryan Skipper's Family:
We would like to thank the State Attorney's Office and especially Mr. Castillo for consistently striving to uncover the truth and seek justice for our family and for Ryan. We want to thank the detectives of the Polk County Sheriff's Office who worked diligently and showed compassion to our family. Thank you to the crime scene technicians whose attention to detail helped uncover the truth. And thank you to everyone else along the way who committed their time and talent to ensuring that justice was served. Lastly, we thank the jurors who have taken time fromheir jobs and families to fulfill an important civic duty. You paid attention to testimony that was brought before you and rendered a conclusion that serves justice and benefits society.
To the public, we want you to know that Ryan, like so many gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, was a good and upstanding member of this community. We all deserve to be judged by our abilities and character instead of our differences. We are all human beings and we all deserve the right to pursue happiness, to have a job, to be parents either naturally or by adoption, to be in a committed loving relationship which is legally recognized, to serve our country in the military openly and honestly with pride. Finally we want the public to know the devastation hate crimes inflict is not only on the individual victim but their families, friends and the entire community feels the impact.
We will always cherish our memories of Ryan. We along with countless others will continue to honor Ryan by always standing up for truth, honesty and equality for all!