LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - The man accused of robbing one brother and killing the other outside a night club on Christmas Eve 2011 was sentenced to life in prison Thursday.
Jurors found Edward Thompson, III, guilty of killing Keye Ratley when he tried to defend his brother during a robbery outside the Discovery night club.
Ratley's family described the 35-year-old as a role model who took care of family, planned to marry his girlfriend and had a job he loved in Texas. He was unable to come home on Thanksgiving so he came a few days early for Christmas.
Thompson's family said he was a sweet boy, but grew up in an abusive home, witnessed domestic violence, had depression and did drugs like crack cocaine. His aunt told the jury that he was a loving father to two kids and he did good things when he wasn't on drugs.
Walking out of the courtroom, Keye's mom said, "I'm glad this is over. Thank you."
Prosecuting Attorney, Kim Davis adds, "I want to thank the jury for their service and we feel great about the verdict in this case and the sentence, it was appropriate. They were very attentive and amazing."
Thompson shook his head, 'no' as the verdict was read Thursday. He was sentenced to life in prison on a first degree murder charge plus 50 years for aggravated robbery and 40 years for theft of property.
His family said there was no evidence in this case and he was convicted because of his history, including 10 prior felonies.
Thompson's aunt, Edna Allen, told Channel 7 News, "I know all of us have had a past but I think they need to judge him on what's right now and not on what his past was."
Those prior convictions classified him as a habitual offender. That means he will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least 70 percent of his sentence.
Thompson has 30 days to appeal.