ORLANDO, Fla. — A grieving mother found compassion for a man who was convicted Friday of killing her son in a fight at an Orlando nightclub.
Gavin Brown, 35, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jerry Smith, who was stabbed to death as
he DJed at the Tier nightclub in June.
After several hours of deliberations, jurors came back with a guilty verdict about 2:30 p.m. Friday.
Smith's mother, Annette Jordan, said she forgives Brown but is satisfied that he'll pay by spending the rest of his life in prison.
"I forgive you, I do," she said. "In order for me to sleep at night and to carry on with my life for my family, my kids, my grandkids, in my heart I had to forgive."
Brown apologized to Smith's family.
"I'm deeply sorry for the family and everything that happened and honest to God, this wasn't intentional," he said.
During the trial, a crime scene investigator was called to the stand and showed the jury the
murder weapon -- a knife with a 3-inch blade. The jury also saw pictures of the victim's clothing the night he was killed.
There were rips in the shirt from where prosecutors said Smith was stabbed.
The state called the club bouncer Samuel Dade to the stand as well. Dade was working at the downtown club the night Smith was killed and said he saw the commotion and rushed into the crowd.
“I grabbed the first person closest to me, which was Gavin,” Dade said.
He told the jury he heard someone say Brown had a knife and he remembers telling Brown to drop the knife before taking him outside the club.
Brown and Smith were at odds over a laptop the disc
jockey allegedly stole from Brown's friend.
claimed Smith came at him with the knife and was able to disarm the victim before stabbing him in self-defense.
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