Jury finds Bessman Okafor guilty on all counts in home invasion trial

Okafor, co-defendant found guilty of burglary, robbery, aggravated assault with firearm

Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:34:19 AM EST   Updated On: Sep 18 2013 07:10:39 PM EDT
ORLANDO, Fla. -

The jury found on Wednesday Bessman Okafor and his co-defendant Nolan Bernard guilty of burglary, robbery and aggravated assault with a firearm in a home invasion that police say is linked to a homicide.

Okafor, who is accused in a home invasion police say is linked to the murder of 19-year-old Alex Zaldivar, broke into a home with Bernard and later killed one of the key witnesses in the home invasion case, police say.

Okafor and Bernard, face up to life in prison for the home invasion. Both were found guilty of one count of burglary of a dwelling with a firearm, four counts of robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.

Zalidvar's father, Rafael, said he can breathe a sigh of relief with the verdict.

"These guys are criminal predators. They've been terrorizing us for years in this town," he said.

Okafor did not testify in his home invasion trial. He said he was at his sister's house at the same time that home invasion occurred.

Just months later, according to investigators, Okafor went back to the same home and shot three people, including Zaldivar, execution style. Zaldivar was killed, while the other 2 victims survived.

Okafor shot Zaldivar, according to police, to keep him from testifying.

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