Everett Gentry, 19, says he hired Burnett to strangle the girl for cash and drugs. Defense attorneys tried to convince jurors Gentry wasn't a credible witness. They pointed out there was no physical evidence against Burnett, and no one saw him with Gentry or the murdered girl.
Brooks' family and friends embraced in court after the verdict was read. Brooks' parents, Terri and Darren, say they never doubted Burnett was the killer, but they weren't sure if jurors would believe Gentry's story.
"You never know what a jury's going to do, and we didn't know," says Terri Brooks. "We just didn't know."
Burnett will be back in court Tuesday morning as attorneys begin arguing whether Burnett should be put to death. If jurors don't unanimously sentence him to the death penalty, Burnett will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Gentry pleaded guilty to capital murder less than a month after Brooks' body was found buried in a secluded Butler County field. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors will recommend Gentry serve life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years. Robinson is awaiting his capital murder trial scheduled for September.
Look below for Friday's in-court updates. Starting again Tuesday, you can also watch live streaming video from inside the courtroom whenever court is in session. For an overview of Burnett's case, you can click the link listed on this page.
FRIDAY IN-COURT UPDATES
Prosecutors Kevin O'Connor and Marc Bennett both just made a deep exhale towards the lead detective in the case, Tim Relph, as Relph leaned his head back in relief.
All smiles now, though, as Relph and prosecutors get a handshake and hug from another WPD homicide detective.
O'Connor and Bennett are now speaking with the family.
Both of Brooks' sisters and one of her friends who testified early in the case are crying.
Bennett just gave Terri Brooks a hug. Actually, pretty much everyone in the group of Brooks' family and friends are hugging.
One of the more emotional moments came just now as Darren Brooks, Chelsea's father, walked over to Detective Relph, hugged him, and broke down.
No reaction from Burnett.
Several members of Brooks' family are wiping tears.
Brooks' mother and older sister are both crying silently.
Everyone is in the courtroom except jurors and the judge.
This is easily the largest crowd we've had in the courtroom gallery so far in Burnett's trial.
JURY HAS A VERDICT.
Jury's question to attorneys is: "We would like a definition of aiding and abetting."...so i guess it's not really a question.
Judge reads them the legal definition.
Jury continues deliberations. Jurors deliberated for about three-and-a-half hours Thursday afternoon.
THURSDAY IN-COURT UPDATES
Defense Attorney Gary Owens continues to point out inconsistencies and changes in Gentry's story.
Owens says you can look at Ted Burnett and say "well, it could have happened...it might have...but nothing shows Burnett was involved."
Owens says when Gentry first talk to police, he was trying to protect himself. Owens says sure, the changes in Gentry's testimony incriminates Gentry even more, but it also makes his story more believable.
Owens says Gentry's insistence he not be the person to kill Brooks is not only cowardly...it contracticts the very elements of his and Robinson's plan and the attempt to get away with it by bringing in an outsider.
The very first thing Defense Attorney Gary Owens says for closing arguments is, "The state has done a very, very good job. The state has done a very good job of proving that Everett Gentry and Elgin Robinson conspired to kill Chelsea Brooks."
Owens says the state has not proven Burnett had anything to do with it.
Bennett says even if Gentry is some cool savvy teenager, he doubts Gentry had the medical knowledge to be able to describe exactly how Chelsea died.