UPDATE: 9:45 p.m.
The friends and family of Roxanne Louie broke down in tears as the 12-person jury announced they had found Grace Robotti guilty of second-degree murder, the culmination of a three-week trial.
The verdict was delivered just after 9 p.m. Thursday night, the same day the jury began their deliberation.
Following the verdict, Louie's friends and family joined hands in a circle in the courtroom lobby and said a quiet prayer.
Some had travelled from Penticton, where Louie was from, most days of the trial to attend the proceedings.
They said the Okanagan Nation Alliance would be releasing a statement on the verdict Friday.
Second-degree murder carries with it a mandatory life sentence, with no eligibility for parole for between 10 and 25 years. Sentencing is determined by the judge.
Following the verdict, Justice Dev Dley asked the jury if they wanted to make a recommendation for when the 67-year-old Robotti should be eligible for parole. After a very brief discussion, the jury recommended Robotti be eligible for parole after 10 years.
Justice Dley will deliver his sentencing on April 18. Until that date, Robotti remains out of custody on bail.
ORIGINAL: 9:15 p.m.
A 12-person jury has found Grace Robotti guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of 26-year-old Roxanne Louie.
The verdict came down Thursday night, after a 12-day trial that opened with Robotti admitting she killed Louie, but in self defence.
The jury heard that Robotti struck Louie at least 26 times in the head with a crowbar. Defence claimed Louie instigated the violence by throwing the crowbar at Robotti, forcing Robotti to fight for her life, while the Crown said the number of blows was evidence of murderous intent.
Family and friends of Louie wept in the courtroom as the jury read their verdict.
Robotti's accomplice and brother, Pier Robotti, pleaded guilty in a previous trial to interfering with a human body for his role in dumping Louie's body outside of Naramata. The Crown dropped second-degree murder charges against him in exchange for the guilty plea. The results of Pier’s trial was covered by a publication ban until the conclusion of Grace’s trial.
Second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence with the jury recommending 10 years before she is eligible for parole. Robotti is 67.