Emotions ran high on both sides Monday after Jerice Hunter was found guilty in the
first-degree murder of her 5-year-old daughter Jhessye Shockley.
A jury found Hunter guilty of first-degree murder and related child-abuse charges after just two hours of deliberations.
The first jury deliberated for about 11 hours, before a pregnant juror was replaced for medical reasons just hours before the verdict was read.
The Glendale Police Department put out a press release Monday expressing their relief with the verdict, which has been a long time coming. Hunter has been in jail for the murder since 2012 and has since maintained her innocence.
The Glendale Police Department would like to acknowledge the significance of today’s events surrounding the Jerice Hunter trial. A jury returned a verdict finding Jerice Hunter guilty of abusing and murdering her 5-year-old daughter, Jhessye Shockley. What started as a call of a missing 5-year-old girl over 3-and-a-half years ago, developed into an exhaustive search and later into a homicide investigation which spanned months. The ensuing three month landfill search for Jhessye’s body involved nearly 300 men and women from Glendale PD, as well as 13 other agencies. Through it all, our goal always remained the same – to obtain justice for Jhessye Shockley.
We are pleased with the jury’s decision today as it assures justice does prevail against an individual responsible for the unimaginable crime of murdering a child. While the verdict provides some sense of satisfaction, it does not diminish the loss suffered by the family who loved Jhessye or lessen the tragedy a community endures when a child is murdered.
Authorities believe Hunter murdered Jhessye and disposed of her body weeks before reporting her missing. Her body has not been recovered.