VERDICT: Wilson Pierre GUILTY of Boynton Beach Mall murder

Wilson Pierre

Wilson Pierre

UPDATE: It took jurors just 45 minutes of deliberation Thursday to convict Wilson Pierre of second degree murder for shooting a 24-year-old Berno Charlemond at the Boynton Beach Mall in 2006.

It’s the same verdict another jury returned nearly seven years ago, but that decision was later overturned on appeal.

This time, prosecutors presented a shorter case against Pierre, resting their case against him at the end of a day-long trial Wednesday.

Pierre will be sentenced July 14.

———————————————-

Attorneys are now giving jurors their final arguments in the second-degree murder retrial of Wilson Pierre, the man accused of killing 24-year-old Berno Charlemond in a shooting that caused hundreds of Christmas Eve 2006 shoppers to dive for cover at the Boynton Beach Mall.

A first jury in 2009 convicted Pierre of second-degree murder, but that conviction was overturned on appeal, clearing the way for a retrial that began Wednesday and included seven prosecution witnesses.

Pierre, 31, ultimately decided not to take the stand in the case, though he’d considered doing so overnight. He did not testify during his first trial.

Assistant State Attorney Craig Williams said that because the shooting happened nearly a decade ago, witnesses’ recollections weren’t as clear as they were initially. But the witnesses, Williams said, remembered a few key things – like the fact that Pierre was shorter than the other men involved in the fight outside JCPenny just before the shooting

Berno Charlemond

Berno Charlemond

“Berno Charlemond was a human being. Someone was murdered in cold blood, on Christmas Eve, in our town,” Williams said, before adding of Pierre: “Hold him accountable for what he did.”

Circuit Judge Dina Keever will read jury instructions to the panel at the end of closing arguments. The jury is expected to begin deliberations by early afternoon.

If convicted again, Keever is unlikely to give him a punishment longer than the 40 years he received in 2009. Pierre is already serving a 20-year sentence on an unrelated shooting.