COPY-Guilty Verdict

Guilty as charged is the verdict in the murder trial of a man who says he killed Michael Grimes back in 1999 in self-defense, but didn't tell anyone because he thought they wouldn't believe him.

Rodney Cearley's attorney called several witnesses who painted the victim as a man haunted by drug problems and who was known for his short temper.  They also testified that Grimes was known to carry a knife and was not one to back down from a fight. Late this afternoon, jurors returned a guilty verdict against Cearley. Neither grimes' body nor the alleged murder weapon have ever been found.

"We feel closure. We feel some type of closure. But we can never get total closure unless we have his remains," said Carl Grimes, the victim's brother.

The punishment phase of the trial begins.