Jurors at the Iberville Parish Courthouse deliberated approximately one hour before they delivered the unanimous verdict against Jerome A. Gray, who was also convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

A 12-member jury in Iberville Parish convicted a man on second-degree murder Nov. 21 for the Thanksgiving 2016 shooting death of Derrick Askins, according to District Attorney Richard Ward Jr.

Jurors at the Iberville Parish Courthouse deliberated approximately one hour before they delivered the unanimous verdict against Jerome A. Gray, who was also convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Gray approached Askins on Nov. 26, 2016 at a Thanksgiving Day celebration and shot him after he punched him because he mistakenly thought Askins was having a relationship with his girlfriend, according to Ward's Chief Felony Prosecutor Tony Clayton, the lead attorney in the case.

Gray walked up to Askins and tried Gray with his fist, and then immediately pulled out a pistol and shot him several times. One bullet hit Askins in the chest area, which killed him almost immediately.

"You would never sit as close to a cold-blooded killer as you are right now," Clayton told the jury during his closing argument. "He anointed himself God and sucked the life out of Derrick Askins . . . he is a cold-blooded killer.

"Hopefully, the verdict will send a message that this kind of criminal activity will not be tolerated and that people who commit these crimes will be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law," he said.

District Judge Tonya Lurry presided over the trial and will be the sentencing judge. Victor Woods served as Gray's defense attorney.

The sentencing date has not yet been set.

A second-degree murder conviction brings a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment, at hard labor, without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.

The penalty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is not less than 10 years nor more than 20 years, also without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.

Gray had been previously convicted of second-degree battery.

Clayton commended the Plaquemine Police Department for its work during the investigation and thanked Iberville Sheriff Brett Stassi for his assistance during the trial.