BARTOW, Fla. — A Florida jury is set to deliberate the fate of Nelson Serrano, who was convicted Tuesday in connection with the 1997 murders of four people in the offices of Bartow, Fla.-based Erie Manufacturing & Garment Conveyor Systems.
Serrano, 68, could be sentenced to death when the jury reconvenes next week.
Prosecutors argued that he shot former partner George Gonsalves to death on Dec. 3, 1997, in retaliation for being ousted from the company, and three other victims, the relatives of a third partner, to eliminate witnesses.
Early in the investigation, Serrano claimed he was in Atlanta at the time of the shootings, but authorities later discovered an airline ticket from Atlanta to Orlando dated Dec. 3 and purchased in the name of Serrano's estranged son, who testified he hadn't made the trip. An Orlando airport parking receipt with Serrano's fingerprint also placed him in Florida on the day of the crime.
The trial took nearly six weeks, with the jury hearing 58 witnesses and viewing more than 400 exhibits. The hearing-impaired defendant appeared shocked as the guilty verdict was read, according to Court TV reports.