UPDATE: Arvie has been found guilty of second degree murder. Stay tuned to 7 News and kplctv.com for more...
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - After three hours deliberating the jury in the Rickey Arvie murder trial has come back with a verdict: guilty as charged of second degree murder.
It was a horrific crime, February 10th 2008, in which 21 year old Tonya Major, was shot six times by her boyfriend, with whom she had a son who was 18 months old at the time. And while it's not a joyful resolution, Major's parents are pleased with the conviction. From the start they were troubled by their daughter's relationship with Arvie. Says Tonya's father Yural Henry, "We don't know why he did it but we knew the type of person he was. Very controlling." Her mother Louella Major said, "He was eleven years older than her and I never approved of the relationship. An older man is not good for a younger lady because they are very controlling."
After brutally murdering major prosecutors say Arvie then spent several hours trying to concoct a cover story. Prosecutor Paul Reggie believes Arvie even shot his own hand as part of his scheme. "He tried to cover his tracks over a period of two to three hours during the early morning hours wherein he got rid of the murder weapon, and moved her car, Tonya's car. This is a great day for justice for Tonya Majors who suffered brutally at the hands of Rickey Arvie a very violent death, very unnecessary for a woman who had such a promising life and left a beautiful eighteen month old son."
Major was a nursing student at University of Louisiana Lafayette and had a bright future. Her father said, "Tonya was a loving mother. She loved her baby, loved her sisters and brothers, and she was going to be a very productive citizen. She was going to school to be a nurse. She was three years into her nursing career." Her mom Louella says she was wonderful. "Oh God, she'd come in a room and she'd smile and just light it up the world. She was a very intelligent child."
Yet they push forward raising Tonya's son who is nearly four years old. "I am going to try to raise him the best I can like I raise my children and to be a productive citizen in life."
While the defense attorney argued the evidence was inconclusive and inadequate to convict Arvie but the jury disagreed. The conviction will bring mandatory life in prison.
Formal sentencing is set for 9 am May 7th.