Juliet Bickford was at the sentencing hearing today for convicted killer Aaron Perry.
The jury recommended three life sentences plus 13 years. This concludes more than six years of waiting for justice for the families of his victims. And they're thanking NewsChannel 3 and our viewers for getting results in this case.
“I just thank God we came to this day. Thanks to Juliet Bickford.” Alice griffin has been waiting for this day since August 29, 2007. That's when her son Latron and his two friends were gunned down in an apartment parking lot in Norfolk.
After a trial that lasted more than a week and involved dozens of witnesses, Aaron Perry was found guilty of capital murder, two counts of first degree murder, and firearms charges.
“We're very thankful to Channel 3 and all the viewers who helped us. We're just very grateful.” Richard Payne’s son Malcolm was one of the victims.
We first introduced you to three grieving families in February 2011 when we featured the triple murder as an unsolved case. Alice and the families of Malcolm Bradley and Muquan Scott poured out their hearts to NewsChannel 3 asking for someone to help solve this case.
After our story, investigators say they got some promising leads. And last March, finally an arrest. A name and a face for the cold-blooded killer: Aaron Perry. We caught up with Latron's mom shortly after she got news of the arrest. Back then Alice told us, “I'm just happy, I’m just happy, I thank ya'll for doing the interview.”
Today, Malcolm's dad thanked all the people who came forward after our story. Richard Payne said, “We just think that due to the fact that you put our story over the airwaves and so many people saw it. So many people came forward who we've never met before. We've never seen them a day in our lives.”
Muquan's uncle also says our story turned this cold case around. Saying, “It didn't really escalate until it was on TV. And we thank you for that. It made a big difference. It was a year or two ago and now we're here in a trial.”
Giving these families a sense of closure and peace they say began the day NewsChannel 3 brought them together for the first time.
Payne said, “Being together with the families and you setting up that first group session is sort of the beginning of our healing and we thank you for that.”
One thing all of the families were looking for in this trial was answers. Why did Perry kill their sons? Apparently it was over a disagreement.
Perry's formal sentencing is scheduled for May 3, 2013.