Boone, 24, was found dead inside the business on Jan. 26, 2006. The Harcum College graduate had been stabbed with a knife and a pair of scissors and had been bludgeoned with a hammer. An autopsy determined that she had bled to death.
A small amount of DNA placed Byrd at the scene, said First Assistant District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who helped prosecute the case. Also found was a copy of a message Boone had left for her boss, saying that Byrd had been in to ask about a job.
The strongest piece of evidence, Ferman said, was a phone call Byrd had made to the catering company at 4:27 p.m. the day of the murder.
Byrd had told police that he made the call after seeing news of the murder on television. Ferman said investigators checked with all Philadelphia-area TV stations and found that none had reported the murder before 5 p.m.
After four days of testimony, the jury deliberated more than five hours before reaching the verdict, Ferman said.
The jury's decision triggered a courtroom outburst from Byrd, who was hustled into an elevator, where he tussled with security officers.
Contact staff writer Larry King
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