KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The man accused of killing two Kissimmee police officers was found guilty of first-degree murder Wednesday.
- Sgt. Sam Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter of the Kissimmee Police Department killed in 2017
- RELATED: Testimony Underway in Everett Miller Murder Trial
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Miller was convicted of shooting and killing Sgt. Sam Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter of the Kissimmee Police Department in 2017.
The jury got its instructions and entered the deliberations this morning. They announced that a verdict was reached before noon.
Family and friends of the fallen officers said this whole trial was a roller coaster of emotions. And while it’s not over just yet, they feel like justice has been served.
Jurors handed down a guilty verdict for Everett Miller on two counts of first degree premeditated murder. One juror read outloud, “We the jury find the defendant guilty of first degree murder as charged in the indictment.”
Miller, a former Marine appeared to be calm during the verdict. Before leaving the courtroom, Miller blew a kiss at his mother. After being escorted out family and friends of the officers broke out in tears and hugs.
Sadia Baxter the widow of Officer Mathew Baxter walked outside of the courthouse hand in hand with her three little girls. Two-year-old Sofia on her shoulders and three-year-old Zarah along with 9-year-old Sariah by her side.
“My girls will never have their father nothing can bring them back,” Baxter said.
Donna Brown-Saintjohn, officer Baxter’s mother who stood next to Sadia said she didn’t know what grief was until now. “But I thank God for my babies and the police department. And now Matthew can rest,” Brown-Saintjohn said.
Officer Baxter’s sister Elizabeth Salyers, stepping in for her mother when she was overcome with emotions.
“It was extremely hard for all of us for all of us to sit there, but we had such a great support system. She was shaking, I was shaking, we were all very emotional,” Salyers said.
Sadia said she wanted her girls with her during this difficult time, in a way to show that the Baxter legacy continues.
"I want them to grow up to be young strong women and know that in the midst of adversity, we have each other, we have family, we have a community that supports us through it all,” Sadia said. “And I want them to know their loved and love is the answer, not hate.”
Sadia said her family’s journey is not over. She asked for the community’s prayers as they wait to hear if Miller will get the death penalty or not. The penalty phase is scheduled for November 5 at 9 a.m.