Lehigh Valley

Manuel Gonzalez guilty of third degree murder

Jury finds Gonzalez guilty of third degree murder

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Manuel Gonzalez is guilty of the murder of 19-year-old DeVon Robinson.

The jury ruled he was guilty of murder in the third degree late Monday afternoon. Closing arguments of the week-long trial ended Monday morning.

Next court date is sentencingĀ  at 9 a.m. October 8. Gonzalez faces up to 40 years in prison.

The defense argued it was a heat-of-passion moment; the prosecution told the jury there is no doubt that Gonzalez should be should be convicted of first degree murder.

For the jury, it came down to this: Did Gonzalez shoot and kill Robinson in the heat of the moment or was it a cold, calculated killing?

During the trial, Gonzalez admitted to shooting Robinson in a parking lot at 12th and Hamilton streets in Oct. 2011, but Gonzalez testified he blacked out during the shooting.

On that night, during an argument, Robinson -- an aspiring rapper known as "Daze Dysh" -- punched Gonzalez in the gas station parking lot. That's when the prosecution said Gonzalez turned the fist fight into a gunfight.

The prosecution stressed to the jury that Gonzalez chased an unarmed Robinson, shot him once in the back, and then again in the head, execution-style.

The defense, however, said Gonzalez feared for his life.

The jury began deliberations around 12:30 p.m. Monday.

A short time later, the jurors returned to the courtroom to ask a question regarding the difference between first and third degree murder, as well as voluntary manslaughter.

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