MUSKEGON, MICH. - Joshua Salyers, 32, was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday Sept. 22. The jury reached that decision after deliberating for just over one hour.
Salyers killed Barbie Dailey on Sept. 4, 2016 at her home on Jiroch Street in Muskegon.
The jury's verdict means Dailey's father Kevin will not have to worry about what will happen at a sentencing hearing in November.
Just before the verdict was read Kevin Dailey kissed the necklace he's worn around his neck for the last year. It contains some of his daughter Barbie's ashes.
"We got the ruling we wanted, and I am glad justice will be served," Dailey said.
First-degree premeditated murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole.
"That is exactly what we wanted and have been praying for this year." said Brenda Cook, Barbie Dailey's aunt.
Jurors heard three full days of testimony. Assistant Muskegon County Prosecutor Benjamin Medema was successful in convincing jurors Salyers attacked Dailey with a knife, slashing her throat four times.
"Nothing can replace her, nothing will," Dailey said.
The jury didn't believe Salyers' story, claiming Dailey was trying to take her own life with the knife. And her death was accidental the result of him struggling to wrestle the knife from her hands.
Witness testified about Dailey and Salyers' troubled relationship, and his efforts to control where she went and what she could wear.
Dailey's friends and family want what happened to change their community for the better. A place where women in abusive relationships find the help they need.
"Don't keep it to yourself, it is not your fault if you are being abused," Cook said.
Barbie Dailey's three children are now living with their fathers and their grandparents.
Salyers will be back in court for a sentencing hearing at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 9.
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