A man accused of a fatal church shooting near Nashville was found guilty of first-degree murder, a 12-panel jury determined Friday, The Tennessean reports.
Emanuel Kidega Samson was reportedly seeking revenge for the massacre at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. when he opened fire at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ during a September 2017 Sunday service, killing Melanie Crow and injuring seven others.
Samson intended to kill at least 10 white churchgoers as payback for the nine lives taken by white supremacist Dylann Roof at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in 2015. Samson was so enraged by Roof’s act that he conceived a plot to take his frustration out on his own former church.
The claim was substantiated by a note found on Samson’s car that referenced Roof and the Charleston church.
The jury came to a unanimous decision after less than five hours of deliberation. According to the outlet, Samson was also found guilty of 42 other charges, from attempted murder for injuring seven other church members, three counts of civil rights intimidation to 24 counts of aggravated assault.
Despite the revenge plot’s scope, the single casualty that day was Crow, a 38-year-old wife and mother of two, while seven others were wounded, the Tennesseean reported.
Samson was reportedly mum as the verdict was read aloud.
The courthouse was filled with members of the Burnette Chapel church who were seen attending the trial through the course of the four days. While they remained quiet in court, they burst into an array of emotions once outside the courtroom.
“When you come out that courtroom door, it bursts loose,” said Burnette Chapel minister Joey Spann, who was shot with a bullet that remains lodged in his chest. “We felt like justice has happened.”
Sheila Crow, Melanie’s mom also attended to see justice served against Samson.
A sentencing still has to be determined and is expected to be rendered next week. Prosecutors are seeking a maximum life sentence without the possibility of parole, according to Nashville station WSMV.