HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After two days of deliberations, a jury of seven men and five women has found Joshua Williams guilty of five of the six charges against him, including the most serious one -- second-degree murder.
Victim Jamil Khan's remains were never found. His grief-stricken parents were in the courtroom as the verdict came down Thursday.
"We, the jury, find the defendant guilty as charged," the court clerk read.
The defendant was clearly disappointed, looking straight up at the ceiling the moment the first guilty verdict was read. Four more guilty verdicts would follow.
"While we will continue to miss Jamil, we know he's not coming back, at least we have some comfort that our system worked," Tai Khan, murder victim's father, said.
Prosecutors say Tai and Sheila Khan's son, Jamil, 24, was killed in a dispute over a marijuana operation.
Jurors were told that Williams and his partner beat Khan with a hammer, sliced his throat, dismembered his body, and disposed of it in a city and county trash bin. Williams then drove the victim's car to Waipahu and set it on fire.
Defense lawyers argued that Williams acted in self defense after Khan brandished an AK-47 assault rifle. They claimed that Khan had become radicalized following the September 11th terrorist attacks.
"This is a serious matter when we have home-grown terrorists," Myles Breiner, defense attorney, said. "It's unfortunate. No one wanted Jamil Khan to die. But the fact of the matter is that if you live by the gun, you die by the gun."
The victim's family disagreed with that characterization.
"If you knew Jamil, he's an exceptionally beautiful young man, always polite, affable, kind, trusting, then you'd know how we miss him," Tai Khan said through tears. "We miss him much."
The jury also convicted the defendant of first-degree commercial promotion of marijuana, second-degree arson, auto theft, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. The panel acquitted him of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug.
"We feel that there were a number of rulings in the case that biased the jury against the defendant," Breiner said. "We feel also that the court made a number of errors. We will be appealing."
Prosecutors plan to seek Hawaii's stiffest punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole at Williams' sentencing October 21st.
Michael Connolly is accused of participating in the murder and is set to go to trial in February. He has filed a motion to dismiss the charges.