Lalone gets life in prison sentence - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Lalone gets life in prison sentence

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - "We the jury find the defendant Nathan Bernard Lalone guilty of first degree murder."

A stoic reaction from freshly convicted murderer Nathan Lalone, after a Hamilton County jury finds him guilty in the November 2011 slaying of his friend, 19-year-old Christian Sosa.

" I don't know what to say it was just a tough case. I thought that we put on a good case and I thought we raised a lot of issues that needed to be raised," said

Lalone's defense attorney Kevin Loper, who tried sowing seeds of doubt in the minds of jurors by questioning the validity of the state's evidence.

It included the defendant's driver's license found a few yards away from the Apison Tennis Courts, where prosecutors say Lalone laid in wait for Sosa, shooting the victim multiple times along with his girlfriend Meghan Bennett, who survived and ultimately testified.

Loper also discounted video evidence captured from a WalMart security camera, that put Lalone and his alleged co-conspirators together just minutes after the shooting.

One of those alleged co-conspirators, Tyler Conrad, died last year, a fact not lost on the litigators.

"Certainly it could have been a lot easier to present the case had Mister Conrad been alive and able to testify," said Prosecutor Brian Finlay afterward.

“When you have someone that's deceased, then none of those statements come in as evidence," lamented Loper.

"Obviously, nothing could bring the victim back but as far as the family is concerned, this is justice for him," said Finlay.

Sosa's family declined to talk to us afterward, but Sosa's mother Mirta did release the following statement: 
"I am satisfied with the verdict and I believe God gave justice. My son never deserved to die. He was a good person with a big heart and was loved by many. Although justice was served, my life will never be the same. I will always love my son."

Lalone was automatically sentenced to life in prison after the first degree murder conviction.

Jurors also found Lalone guilty of the attempted murder of Meghan Bennett, who survived the shooting her boyfriend did not.
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