Teenager Marvin Haynes swears he was asleep at home when an employee at Jerry's Flower Shop was shot and killed May 16, 2004.

Even after a jury convicted him Friday night, Haynes, 17, vehemently proclaimed his innocence, telling jurors in an unusual courtroom outburst: "I didn't kill that man! They're all going to burn in hell for that."

But for the family of the victim, Harry (Randy) Sherer, 55, the verdict brings some relief for those who have mourned his loss and sought justice.

"I'm pretty much elated that it's over with," said Warren Sherer, a brother of Randy's. "Now maybe my family can get on with their lives."

After the Hennepin County jury convicted Haynes of first-degree murder after seven hours of deliberations, he also broke into tears before he was escorted out. The courtroom seemed stunned by his outburst, and Haynes' attorney tried to calm him.

Haynes' sister, Sherita Coleman, was distraught. "We know he didn't do it," she said. "I was supposed to be a witness. He was at home."

Haynes was found guilty of killing Sherer, who was shot while working in the family business at 33rd and Lyndale Avenues N. in Minneapolis' McKinley neighborhood.

Neighbors from all backgrounds enjoyed the services of the shop for 43 years before the shooting and said there was an understood "hands-off" rule for would-be perpetrators. Whether someone needed a dozen roses for an anniversary or a single flower for no reason at all, Jerry's, which shut down after the shooting, welcomed everyone.

A sentencing hearing for Haynes will be held Sept. 27.

Kassius Benson, Haynes' attorney, said he will ask for a new trial. He also cited his concerns that the impending Labor Day weekend may have played a role in the jury's vote.

"I'm obviously disappointed [and] I'm surprised at the quickness of the verdict," he said.

'No proof'

In his closing argument, he told the jury that there was no DNA evidence, no blood, no fingerprints and no physical evidence to prove Haynes had been in the store.

"There's no proof he was in the store because he wasn't there," Benson said.

Haynes was also found guilty of second-degree assault for pointing a gun at Sherer's sister Cynthia McDermid, who also was working in the store. An aggravated robbery charge was dismissed.

The shooter had gone into the flower shop about 11:30 a.m. and asked McDermid to help him pick out flowers and a vase for his mother's birthday.

She was arranging the flowers when she looked up and saw a silver gun pointed at her head. She ran out of the shop and heard two shots. Her brother died after being shot in the chest. No money was taken from the store.

No accident?

Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Mike Furnstahl told the jury in his closing argument Friday that it's no accident when someone fires twice. And he said that no one in the trial was more motivated to lie than Haynes.

He said that Haynes lied to police and gave inconsistent statements.

And Haynes claimed he didn't know the location of the flower shop, even though he's lived in north Minneapolis all his life, Furnstahl told the jury.

Two people, McDermid and a man, both picked out Haynes from a lineup as the shooter.

Furnstahl asked: "How can two different people who don't know each other ID the same person?"

Benson told the jury Friday that the description McDermid gave police about the shooter does not match Haynes.

She said the shooter was 5-feet-10 and weighed about 180 pounds. Benson said Haynes is 5-feet-6 and weighs 130.

But Furnstahl told the jury that McDermid was experiencing fear and panic when she called 911 and was concerned about her brother.

Benson also said that the first description said the shooter had short, cropped hair, while Haynes had braids at the time of the shooting.

And when police showed witnesses a photo of Haynes, they showed one from 2002 when the teenager did have short hair, not a 2004 photo that showed him with longer hair, Benson said.

"They [the police] could have done a fairer lineup using the most current photo of the suspect," he said.