Carl Barrett Jr., 21, was found guilty on Sept. 29 in the shooting death of 5-year-old Laylah Petersen.
On Nov. 6, 2014, Laylah was inside her house in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sitting on her grandfather’s lap when she was killed by drive-by shooters, reports the Daily Mail.
According to investigators, Barrett and two other men, Arlis Gordon, 24, and Paul Farr, 25, mistakenly thought Laylah’s house was the house connected to a man accused of killing Gordon's brother.
Barrett and Gordon were the shooters, and Farr was the driver, investigators say. All three were arrested in October 2015 after a relative of Gordon’s reported his suspicions to police.
Laylah's family applauded the investigators and prosecutor who tried the case, but did not speak to the media, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"We could have had a quadruple homicide," prosecutor Sara Beth Hill said, noting how miraculous it was that Laylah’s sister, grandmother and especially her grandfather managed to escape unharmed.
Defense attorney Christopher Hartley argued that anyone could have used the gun that Barrett was accused of using in the crime. He also challenged the credibility of two key state witnesses, including Farr, who pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of harboring and aiding a felon, in exchange for his testimony. Hartley unsuccessfully tried to pin the murder on Farr’s cousin, Divonte Forbes.
Farr is due to be sentenced on Oct. 21.
Gordon, who pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless homicide and three counts of recklessly endangering safety, will be sentenced on Dec. 8.