UPDATE: Suspect found guilty in Pensacola gas station murder

Northwest Florida

UPDATE (4:35 p.m.) — Efidarious Bryant has been found guilty of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Bryant has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — State and defense attorneys have rested their case in a homicide trial in Escambia County.

Efidarious Bryant, 30, is accused of shooting and killing 50-year-old Govardham Kotha Feb. 19 in a suspected robbery attempt at the Quick Fill gas station on Mobile Highway.

The state presented evidence Wednesday, including a witness testimony and surveillance video, which shows Keandra Smith, also jailed for his alleged involvement in the attempted robbery and homicide, coming into the store and buying sunflower seeds. The state says this was intentional to get Kotha to open the cash register so Bryant could rob the store. Within 10 seconds, prosecutors say Bryant shot Kotha twice — once in the chest and once in the head.

The alleged shooter in the homicide had his or her face covered with a mask. Prosecutors say the shooter was Bryant.

The defense argued there was no DNA evidence, no gun found, or any other evidence to prove without reasonable doubt Bryant killed Kotha.

The jury has now started deliberations and is expected to return a verdict sometime this afternoon.


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