It took two hours for a jury to turn in a guilty verdict in the case of a teenager who murdered another teen outside his home in Easton. Qu'eed Batts was found guilty of first degree murder. He was also found guilty of attempted criminal homicide... and aggravated assault. Batts was only 14-years-old at the time of the shooting. The defense maintained throughout the trial that Batts was acting on the orders of a higher ranking gang member when he shot and killed 16 year old CJ Edwards. But the team of prosecutors and investigators argued Batts knew what he was doing and the murder was carried out under his own free will. Lauer: "I believe him (Batts) to be a good young man. It's a shame his life is ruined, just as is the life of CJ Edwards. It's a shame." Although the family of 16-year- old CJ Edwards says they are relieved at the verdict ... they say it won't bring him back. Delores Howell's grandson was taken from her back in February of 2006. After the verdict was read ... she and other family members left the Northampton County Courthouse to go to the cemetery. Delores Howell We are going to visit his grave right now and tell him justice was served. Tara Paschal We been hurting everyday. We still hurting. Community activists say the verdict sent a clear message to gang members... but they still feel more needs to be done. They now want to spend more time on helping gangs... giving them more opportunities to make better choices.
Allentown, PA 18102