MANATEE -- After deliberating for less than an hour, a jury Thursday found Lamont Yarn, 21, guilty of first-degree murder and armed burglary in the October 2009 slaying of a Palmetto woman.
After the verdict was read, Circuit Judge Marc B. Gilner sentenced Yarn to two concurrent life sentences for both charges.
“One night of craziness changed many lives,” Gilner said to the courtroom following the sentencing.
Yarn was accused of the 2009 shooting death of Patricia White, 43, of Palmetto, in the 3900 block of Third Avenue Drive East, where White and her son Clarence J. White, 22, were both found dead.
Clarence White had taken his own life after his mother was shot.
The shootout also left then-19-year-old Yarn with a gunshot wound to the head.
“Justice has been served,” said Tammy Roberts, Patricia White’s sister after the trial. “It’s been a long time and I’m glad it’s over.”
There were tears on both sides of the courtroom in the moments following the verdict.
Some of White’s family members offered Yarn forgiveness for his actions and offered condolences to his mother.
“I know your sorry,” Felicia Bellamy, Patricia White’s sister said.
Bellamy, who was emotional herself, then walked over and hugged Yarn’s mother.
One of Patricia’s sons was not as remorseful.
He told Yarn, “I have no sympathy at all,” because Yarn still has his mother and “I don’t have mine.”
Yarn plans to appeal, according to his attorney Richard Watts.
“I was impressed at the forgiveness of the White family to Lamont and his family,” Watts said.
He added that his client was thankful for the members of White’s family who offered forgiveness.
Yarn’s family declined to comment about the case, but were visibly upset in and out of the courtroom.
Even with this verdict, the investigation of the case remains active, according to Dave Bristow, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
“We are still investigating,” Bristow said. “We’re pleased that we have one conviction and are looking forward to other arrests.”