UPDATE: Family of Victim Reacts to Daniel Blizzard's Guilty Verd - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

UPDATE: Family of Victim Reacts to Daniel Blizzard's Guilty Verdict

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YAKIMA, WA. -- The long, drawn out, and emotional trial against Daniel Blizzard has come to a very quick end. The jury needed less than 24 hours to return a verdict of guilty of first degree murder. 

This verdict gives the family of Vern Holbrook some kind of justice. We talked to one of Vern's granddaughters after the guilty verdict was read, she asked us not to show her face on camera. 

"He's in a better place, of course. He's with my mom and my grandmother but he was better served here with us," Corie Ratliff said. "He still had a whole life ahead of him, there's no reason for his life to be taken so soon. All of us want justice and justice was served today."

The family also released a statement to the media thanking everyone who was involved in this case, from the prosecutor to the jury and the detectives.

This verdict is rather bittersweet for the family of Vern Holbrook. Blizzard will now be sentenced in two weeks but because both Adriana Mendez and Jill Taylor agreed to a plea deal in exchange for their testimony, they will walk free.

The alleged hit man, Luis Gomez-Mongez will be tried at a later date.  

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BREAKING/YAKIMA, WA - The jury reached a verdict this afternoon in the murder trail of Daniel Blizzard. 

Blizzard was found guilty for the murder of real estate broker Vern Holbrook. 

Sentencing has been scheduled for the 30th of September. 


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YAKIMA, WA. -- The fate of Daniel Blizzard is now in the hands of a jury. Blizzard is accused of hiring a hit man to kill Yakima real estate broker Vern Holbrook.


The prosecution and the defense left the jury with their closing arguments Monday morning. Now the jury is deliberating the fate of Daniel Blizzard. 

In closing arguments, the prosecution kept reiterating that Blizzard had 1.58 million reasons to want Vern Holbrook dead, referring to the life insurance policy taken out on Holbrook. 

The defense, in their closing arguments, attacked each individual witness who pointed the finger at Blizzard, saying that the state "bought" their testimony in exchange for their freedom. 

"I'm going to keep going with these people because now I have somebody to actually follow through with what I want," Prosecutor Alvin Guzman said. "And that's to have Vern Holbrook dead. The one point five million reasons that he has to kill him."

"His life has been in my hands," Defense attorney Pete Mazzone said. "But from this moment on, his life is in your hands."

Throughout this entire trial we have seen an extremely interesting mix of business professionals and drug users. It really has been a collision of two very different worlds. 

Now we wait. At any time during normal business hours, the jury could come back with a verdict for Daniel Blizzard. When that happens we'll be there to tell you his fate. 
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