MIAMI (CBSMiami) – After about two hours of deliberation, a jury found Jason Beckman guilty of first degree murder in the death of his father, South Miami City Commissioner Jay Beckman.
After the verdict, Beckman could be heard muttering “I don’t understand what went wrong.”
Jason Beckman was 17 when he shot his father with a shotgun as Jay Beckman showered in April of 2009.
“This was a very difficult case for everyone that was involved. We speak for Jay Beckman we thank you,” said prosecutor Gail Levine after the verdict.
Herb Smith, Beckman’s attorney who argued the shooting was an accident, didn’t say much. “I don’t want to make any comments because we have a sentencing coming up. What I really want to say I can’t say,” said Smith. When CBS4’s Maggie Newland asked if he was planning an appeal, he responded, “Absolutely.”
Two former classmates of Jason said earlier in the trial that Jason had expressed hatred toward his father for years before the murder. The former classmates also testified that Jason kept a list of the people who crossed him.
Armando Torres, a former classmate of Beckman, also testified that he heard him say, on multiple occasions, that he wanted to kill his father.
“Sometimes he would direct those [comments] to me and sometimes to other people,” Torres said. “He didn’t like him very much, hateful, I would say.”
The state’s star witness, Lisa Syren, told jurors previously that Beckman showed her the shotgun that he was going to use on his father a week before the killing, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.
“Jason then told me how he was going to kill his dad and make it look like self-defense,” she told jurors.
Prosecutors also introduced a jailhouse informant who said Beckman admitted to shooting his father. The informant said the killing happened after the father made a joke about Jason while the younger Beckman showed a picture of actress Megan Fox.
The informant said Jay Beckman told his son “he wouldn’t know what to do with that,” and that the comment enraged Beckman.
Members of the jury did not hear testimony about Beckman’s Aspergers, a form of autism. The judge wouldn’t permit it and the defense lost a mistrial motion earlier in the trial as Judge Rodney Smith refused to allow testimony about the defendant’s mental deficiency.
The state did not show jurors Beckman’s taped statement to police in which he said the killing was an accident. When asked if that would have made a difference in the verdict, Levine replied. “The defendant knew exactly what he was doing in that statement. Whether it was kept out or put in wouldn’t have made any difference. His actions spoke louder than his statement.”
Jason Beckman, now 21, could face life in prison.