METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - "I understand that he's convicted of it, but when I talk to him or in a room alone with him, I can't imagine that he did this," defense attorney Jerome Matthews said of his client, Dexter Allen.
Allen is convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and 19 counts of simple burglary. The jury agreed that Allen went on a crime spree in a Metairie neighborhood, breaking into several vehicles before he wandered into the Pence family home armed with a shot gun.
He's convicted of shooting 56-year-old David Pence three times as he slept in an easy chair. Pence's son, Nicholas, was playing video games. Police say when he came into the room, Allen shot him, too.
Police said Allen then grabbed a purse and iPhone from the kitchen counter and took off.
David's widow and Nicholas' mom, Elizabeth, was in a back bedroom. She called 911 when she found her husband dead and her son taking his last breath.
The judge must now decide whether to sentence Allen to life with or without parole.
Elizabeth and her daughter, Tara Pence, gave witness statements during the hearing. Tara told the judge, "They won't be here for anything anymore because monster thought a purse and an iPhone was worth more than their lives."
Elizabeth told the judge, "On April 22, 2015, I was sentenced to life without parole. I respectfully ask that you do the same for the convicted murderer."
"Today shouldn't have happened because we didn't have the proper funding necessary to do a proper investigation," Jerome Matthews said, calling the sentencing hearing unconstitutional.
He filed a writ with the Louisiana Supreme Court to delay sentencing so he can find the money to investigate Allen's background before the judge made his decision, but the ruling never came and the judge decided to move forward with the hearing.
"The state has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars prosecuting him. The United States Supreme Court says that a juvenile convicted of a crime and sentenced to life is supposed to have an investigation into their history, and we did not do that," Matthews said.
Matthews is hoping the Supreme Court will rule in his favor before the judge can sentence his client.
Meanwhile, the victim's family and friends said they want Allen to spend the rest of his life in jail.