Bellaire Murder Trial Verdict

Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 5:10pm

The verdict is in for the man accused of gunning down a neighbor and friend of Mayor-President Kip Holden. It took jurors almost two hours to find Juave Collins guilty of murdering 69-year-old Henry Bellaire in his River Crest driveway in 2007.

Collins was 16 at the time of the shooting. He was convicted Thursday of second degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence. Members of the Bellaire family say the past two years have been rough and they’re pleased with the outcome of the trial.

Gaylyn Bellaire, the victim’s daughter, explains, “When my dad died, it took a part of me, there’s nothing inside. Hopefully with today some sense of peace, but I still have a long way to go.”

The family can’t rest each though because two other suspects still have to be tried. Collins will return for sentencing in two weeks.