Emotional day in court as verdict is read in Ronald Ellis murder case

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- "Oh! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, thank you!"

Turrets of emotion poured out of court Thursday evening, taking form in many tears and many hugs.

"We feel better because we feel like justice has been served."

That after a verdict family and friends of Torhonda Cathey said they've waited two years to hear.

"The verdict of the jury reads, `We the jury find the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree.'"

It took jurors a little more than two hours to convict Ronald Ellis in the 2014 slaying after a day of testimony from the former Memphis firefighter.

His lawyer presented a suicide note Ellis penned the day of Cathey's murder and he took the stand claiming not to remember all of what he did that day in an East Memphis Target parking lot.

"I remember raising the gun up and firing it, but I didn`t know I was hitting her," he said.

"I think he was just trying to cover up things that - saying things that wasn`t true. He remember it," said Tameka Rudd, Cathey`s cousin.

Ultimately the jury wasn't having it either. Their decision was bittersweet for Cathey's family who know it won't bring their loved one back.

"This should have never happened. She should still be here doing the great job that she did as a mother and as a daughter and as an employee," said Gloria Sweet-Love. "It hurts so bad to know that someone that you truly love and someone that would take someone`s life like that, but I`m glad that we can put this behind us."

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