Courtney Lockhart has been found guilty of capital murder in the death of Lauren Burk.
After deliberating for an hour Thursday, the jury recommended life without parole. Judge Walker will issue a final sentence, either life without parole or the death penalty, on January 28.
Lockhart could be sentenced to death or life without parole in the killing of 18-year-old Auburn University freshman Lauren Burk.
Lockhart's mother, Catherin Lockhart Williams took the stand Thursday as a character witness.
As she is sobbing, she tells the courtroom, "Ms Burk and your family, I am so sorry for what has happened from the bottom of my heart. I wish I could go back and change what has happened but I can't. Only God has that power... For the many restless nights you must have had I am so sorry. I wish I could come hug you, but they probably wouldn't let me. I am so sorry from the bottom of my heart. "
Shortly after 9:00 a.m. Thursday, the jury began taking a second look at a DVD of the Army vet's confession to killing the AU student.
The jury began deliberation Wednesday evening and requested to see video of Lockhart's statement to police on March 7, 2008.
Lockhart, 26, is on trial for the March 2008 kidnapping, attempted rape, robbery and capital murder the AU freshman.
Wednesday afternoon, prosecutor Kisha Abercrombie said in closing statements that Lockhart knew his revolver was cocked and ready to fire as he drove Burk's car.
She said Lockhart meant to kill the 18-year-old student from Marietta, Ga. when she was shot in the back as she tried to escape.
But defense attorney Joel Collins said Lockhart intended only to rob Burk when he kidnapped her in an Auburn University parking lot, and had no intention to kill her. He said the gun went off accidentally.
Wednesday morning, defense witness Dr. Kimberly Ackerson, a forensic psychiatrist, said although Lockhart showed signs of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), he in no way met the criteria of possessing PTSD.
State asked Dr. Ackerson if anything led her to believe that Lockhart was insane when he kidnapped, drove around a naked girl and then shot her-- she said, "No".
When asked if she ever requested records from jail to see if he requested treatment or help, she replied, "No".
Lockhart's ex-fiancÚ told the court that he was obviously suffering when he returned from Iraq. She told the court that he was scarred emotionally and there were nights when she would wake up to him shaking in the closet.
On March 4th, his ex-fiancÚ (a defense witness) testified that she told Auburn Police that she spoke with Lockhart the night before. She recounted to the court that he told her he had messed up.
Wednesday, marked the 8th day of proceedings. Of those eight days, jurors heard five days of testimony in the capital murder case.
Tuesday, the court admitted written statements from Lockhart. In those statements, he admitted to kidnapping Burk and using in her credit card.
Lockhart is an Iraq War veteran. The defense team claims he was mentally disturbed and suffering from PTSD because of his war experience.
News Leader 9 is following this story. We'll have the latest beginning on the news at 5 ET.
In March 2008, the 18-year-old college freshman was abducted in her own car and shot. She was found lying in a roadway in March of 2008 near Farmville Baptist Church in Auburn, AL.
She was transported to the East Alabama Medical Center where she died from a gunshot wound.
Her car, a 2001 Black Honda Civic, was then driven back to campus then set ablaze.
Police arrested Lockhart days later. Police say Lockhart confessed to the crimes after his arrest. He was charged with three counts of capital murder, kidnapping, and attempted rape and robbery.
After several status hearings and a defense motion to move the trial from Opelika due to media coverage which the lower and Alabama Supreme Court denied; the case is finally set to get underway two years after the murder.
Auburn freshman, Lauren Burk, 18, was found lying in the road in March 2008 near Farmville
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty if Lockhart is found guilty.