Daniels convicted in Kayla Ferrante murder trial

A Tulsa man was convicted Tuesday of murdering a teenager who police said was an innocent victim of gang violence.

A Tulsa County jury found Edwin Jermaine Daniels guilty of killing 17-year old Kayla Ferrante, who was fatally shot as she sat in a car that police said Daniels mistakenly thought was occupied by two gang members.

Daniels, 26, was found guilty of first-degree murder and shooting with intent to kill, and he got a life prison term, with parole possible, on each of the two counts. The jury also fined him $10,000 on the shooting count.

A life term requires a person to serve 38 years and three months in prison before becoming eligible for parole. However, Daniels is already serving a more-than-300-year prison term in an unrelated case.

District Judge James Caputo scheduled Daniels’ formal sentencing in the murder case for June 25.

Ferrante was hit by a bullet that struck her in the back and went through her chest while she was sitting in a Cadillac in the 1500 block of South 122nd East Avenue around 11:50 p.m. May 26, 2012.

Ferrante, who had graduated from Memorial High School the day before, was in the car with her boyfriend, Neikko Perez, near her home.

Assistant District Attorneys Ben Fu and Kali Strain maintained that Daniels, a gang member, fired multiple shots with a semiautomatic rifle at the Cadillac.

The count of shooting with intent to kill involved shots fired at Perez.

In a closing argument Tuesday, Fu described Ferrante as “a beautiful human being, full of potential and life.”

Defense attorney Scott Goode argued that the prosecution’s case was unreliable and insufficient.

Daniels was sentenced last year to 307 years in prison in a different Tulsa County case.

Prosecutors maintained that he was involved in a series of home invasions in 2012, and a jury found him guilty of 15 counts, including burglary, robbery with a firearm, attempted robbery, kidnapping and assault while wearing a mask.