Elijah Brookins, 34, was found guilty of first degree murder last week.
Brookins was charged with the murder of another inmate, Eric Sexton, during the transportation of prisoners from the Jefferson Correctional Institution to the Florida Reception Center in Chipley in September of 2011.
Brookins testified in his own behalf during the trial where he denied having killed Sexton.
In a startling comment, Brookins told state Attorney Frank Allman that one of the inmates who testified during the trial had stabbed Sexton.
When asked by Allman if he had made this statement prior to the trial, Brookins said no.
Sexton had been stabbed 27 times.
Brookins did say that Sexton landed on him during an argument that had erupted on the bus ride and he had pulled the homemade knife from Sexton’s stomach.
Allman asked Brookins that if that statement was true why he and Sexton were the only ones on the bus with blood on them.
Brookins said he did not know.
Allman asked Brookins if he had looked in Sexton’s rectum for something and gone through his belongings looking for something.
Testimony during the trial by one of the inmates said that Brookins had done both of those things.
Brookins said he had not.
The jury was out approximatly 45 minutes before bringing back the conviction.
JURY RECOMMENDS DEATH PENATLY
The jury recommended the death penalty in a 10-2 vote following the conviction of Elijah Brookins for the murder of Eric Sexton.
The jury came back with their recommendation in about 45 minutes after hearing comments from Brookins family.
Brookins sat quietly staring forward while he waited for the recomendation from the jury.
Sniffles were the only sounds that could be heard from the small crowd that had gathered daily throughout the trial from family members of both Sexton and Brookins.
A number of armed corrections guards were strategically placed throughout the courtroom as well as several Gadsden County deputies.
Brookins had been escorted by four corrections officers to and from the holding cell in the courtroom annex throughout the trial.
Judge Jon Sjorstrom, who presided over the trial, set January 7, 2014 as a pre-sentencing hearing date after he instructed the Department of Corrections to do a pre-sentencing investigation.
The pre-sentencing hearing, he explained, was mandatory in capital court cases (first degree murder).
It will be after the January 7th date the he will make the decision to accept the jury’s recommendation of the death penalty or sentence Brookins to life in prison.
Brookins is currently serving a life sentence for an incident in 1996.