A Philadelphia jury this afternoon found former fugitive David Nam guilty of second degree murder in the 1996 killing of a retired Olney warehouse worker.
The Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury deliberated about three hours after hearing closing arguments this morning from the prosecution and defense attorneys.
A conviction of second-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without chance of parole.
Nam, 32, was extradited in 2008 from South Korea - where he fled in March 1998 after being released on $1 million bail - to face trial in the Aug. 16, 1996 shooting of Anthony Schroeder, 77, during a botched home invasion at Schroeder's house at Fourth Street and Olney Avenue.
At the time, Nam was a 19-year-old from Lansdale involved in an Asian street gang operating in the city's Olney section.
Nam and three 14-year-olds were charged with plotting to rob Schroeder at about 3 a.m. on the hot summer night while Schroeder was watching television with only the screen door blocking entry to the rowhouse.
According to trial testimony, Schroeder apparently heard the four outside and went to the door armed with a .25-caliber automatic pistol. Nam, armed with a .22-caliber rifle fired once, hitting Schroeder in the chest.
Nam's three now-28-year-old accomplices pleaded guilty, served five-year probationary sentences and testified against him.
Defense attorney Michael E. Wallace conceded that Nam shot Schroeder during his closing argument to the jury but argued that it was the panicked reaction of a 19-year-old.
Wallace cited Nam's own handwritten confession written to convince South Korean officials not to return him to the United States. That confession maintained that Schroeder had reached out the screen door and held his gun to the head of accomplice Robert Souvannavong.
Nam wrote that he shot because he feared the elderly man would kill his friend.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson urged the jury to find Nam guilty of nothing less than second-degree murder: "For over 13 years justice in the case has been delayed. Please don't let it be denied."