Man Found Guilty of Murder

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Benjamin Westbrooks of West Hazleton was convicted Friday night of first degree murder for the shooting death of Alicia Weaver in 2010.

Her body was discovered in a wooded part of Foster Township.

Investigators said the young Hazleton woman owed Westbrooks money.

It took jurors more than seven hours to make their decision.

In court, Weaver's family wept as the verdict was read.

"My sister can never hug me in the morning, she can never be there for me, and I think that he should deserve to be in prison forever and never get to see his children or anything ever again," said Kristie Shafer, Weaver's sister.

"I'm glad, he got what he deserved you know? Now this pretty face she gets to rest in peace, I'm glad. I can sleep now, so can my wife, she can sleep too. She deserved this," said Anthony Perez, Weaver's brother-in-law as he held a picture of Alicia.

Westbrooks and his attorneys said he has been framed by another man, who they said pulled the trigger and killed Alicia Weaver.

"Obviously it was our defense that it was Brandon Crum who did the killing," said defense attorney Allyson Kacmarski.

"They ain't never had enough evidence to convict me. They just convicted me of being a possible shooter," said Westbrooks on his way out of the courthouse Friday night.

Brandon Crum was a man who testified to being in the car with Westbrooks before the murder. He testified that he saw Westbrooks kill Weaver.

Westbrooks was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.