Verdict is in: Veronica Taft Found Guilty
8/28/2012 (Updated 10:59:48 PM)BINGHAMTON -- "Yay! Binghamton did something right for a change! That's right! That's right! I'm happy!" That was the cry of Danita Abel, great aunt of Lyric Taft today.
It was elation outside the Broome County courthouse this afternoon just moments after the jury read their verdict. After almost five hours of deliberation Veronica Taft was found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder, Manslaughter, and three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. In December 2010, Taft killed her two-year-old son Lyric, and today's verdict put many hearts at ease.
"It's been terrible having to wait and see her be able to live her life when he couldn't," said Sarina Bigelow, a friend of Lyric.
"I really am sad for Veronica, but Lyric had to be thought of in this case," said Bruce Bigelow, also a friend of Lyric.
"I'm very pleased with this verdict," said Abel. "May she get all the time, may she never come out again."
Prosecutors convinced jurors that Veronica Taft beat her son to death. An autopsy found Lyric had suffered blunt-force trauma to the head and a lacerated liver. Friends of Taft testified that she beat Lyric on many occasions. Two ex-boyfriends also testified Taft admitted to them that she killed Lyric.
"We felt pretty strongly that the proof that came out at trial, albeit a combination of circumstantial and direct proof, was very powerful."
Taft's defense attorney declined comment after the verdict.
Those who knew Lyric were inside the courthouse for the decision and cried tears of joy when it was read. Outside, they held his pictures and shared their memories of him.
"His smile, his laugh, and his 'i don't know," that was his number one phrase," said Sarina.
And while choking back emotions, friends still wondered how this could happen.
"There's no reason to treat a kid like that, they're innocent," said Sarina. "They do nothing, they can make you mad, they can make you frustrated, but there's no reason to put your hands on a child."
But today, those friends can go home relieved.
"But justice was served I feel and she will live in the hell that he had to when he was alive," said Sarina.
Sentencing is set for November 22nd. Taft faces between 18 years to Life in prison.
In Binghamton, Jeremy Donovan, Fox 40 News
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