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Taylor Hayes' family relieved Keon Gray found guilty of murder

Posted at 9:49 PM, Aug 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-15 10:30:51-04

BALTIMORE — "Dancing! She loved to dance. I know she’s up there dancing and singing."

Family members spoke about 7-year-old Taylor Hayes outside the Baltimore County Courthouse. Hayes was shot in July of 2018 while she was sitting in the backseat of a car in Southeast Baltimore.

She died two weeks later.

Wednesday, a Jury found Keon Gray guilty of second degree murder.

"We are just glad and we are happy that we are getting justice. It’s senseless. The violence has got to stop. She was seven years old. She didn’t get to do anything, nothing at all. She didn’t have her first dance, anything and we are just glad that justice is being served," said Hayes' dad's girlfriend.

When the verdict was announced in the courtroom, Hayes' mother cried out.

"Any mother would be emotional, any mother. I was emotional. It was tough," said Hayes' uncle.

He said they're just happy this process is finally over.

"We more than happy, she more than happy it’s over with so we gonna go enjoy this and enjoy the next chapter," Hayes' uncle said. "It’s a relief but nothing can bring her back."

Gray was found guilty of six other charges. One for first degree assault against Darnell Holmes, who police say was driving the car with Hayes inside. Prosecutors say Holmes and Gray got into an argument before Holmes drove off and Gray shot at the car, hitting Hayes in the back.

"It was really stressful from the day we found out to being in the hospital to everything," said one of Hayes' cousins.

The family said they just want the violence in the city to stop.

"Stop the senseless acts, that’s the biggest message," one of Hayes' cousins said. "It’s kids, it’s little kids like her who didn’t even make it out of elementary school."

Keon had 19 total charges. Now, he faces up to 165 years in prison. His attorney said he will file an appeal.

The family hopes there is not a re-trial so they don't have to re-live this tragedy.