MIAMI — Harrel Braddy stood quietly Tuesday as a court clerk read the decision he has spent almost nine years trying to avoid.
Guilty of trying to escape. Guilty of burglary. Guilty of attempted murder and two counts of kidnapping.
And the final verdict: Guilty of murdering a little girl by leaving her in the middle of the night in the Everglades.
Quatisha Maycock was killed by alligators in November 1998 after Braddy dumped her by the side of Alligator Alley.
After more than a week of testimony in the trial, Assistant State Attorney Abbe Rifkin asked the jury on Tuesday to consider Quatisha's final moments.
"You're 5 ... You're hurt. You're alone. It's dark," she said.
Braddy had already left the little girl's mother, Shandelle Maycock, for dead in a sugarcane field after choking her repeatedly.
Shandelle Maycock sat stoically as each guilty verdict was read to a hushed courtroom.
Braddy's mother, sitting in the back, began to sob.
Shandelle Maycock testified last week that she had tried to save herself and her only child by jumping out of Braddy's moving car. Rifkin asked the jurors during her closing argument: "How desperate would you have to be to jump out of a moving car with your child?"
But Braddy's attorney, G.P. Della Fera, offered an alternative theory to explain the child's death: It was the mother's fault.
The fatal blow came when mother and child crashed to the pavement, he said.
"Quatisha Maycock suffered an injury and died as a result of flying out of a car and hitting her head on Ives Dairy Road," he said. "It's up to you to decide whether Mr. Braddy is responsible for that."
Braddy interrupted Della Fera during his closing argument, talking loudly until his other attorney, Terence Lenamon, could calm him down.
After a lunch recess, Braddy introduced a hand-written motion objecting to Della Fera's argument, which he said was contrary to the evidence: Maycock had testified her daughter "was walking and talking after the jump from the car," Braddy wrote in his motion.
The outburst and the motion were both unusual in Miami's criminal courts, but not out of character for Braddy, who is known around the courthouse for his angry eruptions.
Braddy, 58, delayed the trial for almost nine years by firing a series of attorneys. For several months, he tried to represent himself before agreeing to let Della Fera and Lenamon defend him.
The jury was never told of Braddy's objection to his lawyer's argument and took only two hours to discount Della Fera's theory.
After the verdict was announced, Della Fera declined to comment, as did Braddy's mother and father.
Rifkin said she was pleased that Braddy had finally been convicted.
"The evidence was overwhelming," she said. "The defendant knew the evidence was overwhelming. That's why he delayed so long."
She is seeking the death penalty for Braddy, a felon with a lengthy record that includes convictions for escape and attempted murder. Circuit Judge Leonard Glick told jurors to come back in late August for the penalty phase of the trial.