EVERETT, Wash. -- A jury found the man accused of killing a 15-year-old Seattle girl in a drive-by shooting in 2013 not guilty of murder, and guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
The verdict was read Monday afternoon in a Snohomish County court room.
Molly Conley's father abruptly left the courtroom after the jury foreperson read that Erick Walker, 28, was found not guilty of murder.
To convict of first degree murder, the jury had to find that Walker set out to kill someone or acted with "extreme indifference of human life." To be convicted of manslaughter the jury had to find only that Walker "recklessly" caused the death of another person.
Jurors deliberated for about six hours Friday before telling a Snohomish County judge they reached a verdict on all but one count. That count was not revealed.
At that point, Superior Court Judge Thomas Wynne told lawyers he didn't believe jurors had deliberated long enough for him to declare a mistrial. He instructed jurors to continue deliberating Monday.
Molly Conley, a Seattle high school student, was celebrating her birthday with friends in the Snohomish County city of Lake Stevens on June 1, 2013, when she was fatally shot.
Prosecutors allege Walker, of Marysville, went on a three-hour shooting spree on June 1, 2013, indiscriminately firing from his car.
The defense noted the bullet that killed Conley was never found. Lawyer Mark Mestel told jurors that police assumed the killing and the other drive-by shootings were connected. He says they stopped looking at other suspects once they had Walker in custody.