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A Broward jury convicted three men of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the 2006 shooting death of Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Tephford, ending the first phase of the marathon trial while setting up the next chapter – a fight over whether the defendants deserve the death penalty.
Eloyn Ingraham, Bernard Forbes and Andre Delancy were also convicted Tuesday of attempted murder in the shooting of Deputy Corey Carbocci, who had arrived for backup after Tephford initiated a traffic stop at the Versailles Gardens condominium complex in Tamarac on Nov. 6, 2006.
The attempted murder charge comes with a maximum sentence of life in prison, though Broward Circuit Judge Paul Backman is unlikely to announce a decision until after the penalty phase of the trial is completed.
Ingraham was a passenger in the vehicle Tephford pulled over. Prosecutors said he called Forbes and Delancy on his cell phone, and the two men showed up at the scene with guns drawn, firing on the deputies. Tephford died at the scene, and Carbocci, who wore a bulletproof vest, was injured.
The three defendants were arrested the next day. During the trial that started last June, each defendant denied involvement in the shooting while implicating the other two.
Prosecutors could not speculate as to why any of the accused would want to kill a cop. After they were arrested, Ingraham and Forbes were implicated in a clothing store robbery and kidnapping in Tamarac that had taken place in late October 2006. They were acquitted of those charges in 2015.
Jurors visited the scene of the shooting in October, with the patrol vehicles assigned to Tephford and Carbocci positioned as they were at the time of the shooting.
The jury of six men and six women took 32 hours to come to a decision, working through the weekend after receiving final instructions from the judge last Friday.
Under normal circumstances, the same jury that decided the defendant’s guilt would return to decide whether they deserve the death penalty. But defense lawyers, who made it clear they would not present a united front during the trial, said Tuesday that they would be even more divided for the penalty phase.
Defense lawyer Mitch Polay, who represents Delancy, said he intends to besmirch the reputations of the other two defendants in a bid to save his own client’s life. “I don’t see how you can have a death penalty phase and have them have a fair hearing,” he said.
Backman will meet with attorneys on Monday to establish a schedule and told jurors it will be more than a month before they will be asked to return.