An Alexandria jury found 38-year-old Dwayne Miller guilty on all counts and recommended that he spend the next 25 years in prison.
Miller was accused of shooting Darrell Atkins on Dec. 17, 2001, in a crowded gas station as Atkins' two daughters watched. One of the bullets struck the door of the vehicle in which the children sat. Atkins, who was shot three times, has lost the use of his right arm.
"The girls were 10 and 5 years old," said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Erik Barnett, who prosecuted the case along with Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Jennifer Pollard.
"The 10-year-old testified and did a remarkable job even though she is still having nightmares about what happened. It was a pretty terrible scene, with a lot of blood and bullets."
In addition to the two children, there were a number of other witnesses. Miller claimed that the shooting was accidental and that he was acting in self defense. It took the jury only two hours to convict.
"I don't think anyone believed that he shot Mr. Atkins three times by accident," Barnett said.
Miller and Atkins had known each other for many years and Miller is currently living with Atkins' ex-wife. The two men were at the gas station in Alexandria because Atkins was returning his two sons to their mother and Miller was with her. No one else was injured in the incident.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 30.