OPELIKA, AL (WSFA) - Murder victim Lauren Burk's family moves closer to closure after a Lee County jury convicted Courtney Lockhart of capital murder.
Later the same jurors deliberated a sentence. They recommended life in prison without parole rather than their other choice, death by lethal injection.
Two years, eight months, and two weeks after their worst nightmare played out, Lauren Burk's family finally feels like justice has been served.
"I know this is crazy, but I feel like Lauren is resting in peace better tonight than she was last night. As a father I wanted to make sure this ended in justice...Very difficult listening to details and hearing things you haven't heard before," said Jim Burk.
While the trial wasn't easy for Lauren's mother Vivian and father Jim, both say they're forever grateful for the work of the prosecution.
Burk's mother also responded to the tearful apology from Courtney Lockhart's mother Catherine.
"I didn't expect her to do that but I thought it was very kind of her," said Vivian Burk.
WSFA 12 News tried to talk to the family of Courtney Lockhart but they declined an interview as they left the courthouse with heavy hearts.
As the emotional trial came to a close, the Burk family say that their tears are all gone.
They say they're leaning on each other to move forward as a family.
"We have two beautiful children and we're going to be strong because that's what Lauren would want and that's what we're gonna do," added Mr. Burk.
While the jury has recommended life without parole, Judge Jacob Walker can still overturn that and give Courtney Lockhart the death penalty.
The sentencing is set for January 28th.