Updated:HENRY COUNTY, Ga.,None - A man convicted of murdering his girlfriend received two life sentences on Friday. He said graphic text messages drove him to commit the crime.
Dana McFarlane was accused in the killing of his girlfriend, Rivers Edge elementary school teacher Kinaya Byrd.
After he was found guilty of malice murder, felony murder and kidnapping, a Henry County judge sentenced McFarlane to two life sentences and five years for possession of a knife during the commission of a felony. His defense team had hoped for a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. On Thursday, Channel 2's Tom Jones went to the Henry County courtroom where each side made its case.
Defense: Man Killed Teacher Over Texts
Police said McFarlane chased Byrd out of her Stockbridge home in February, then dragged her back inside before killing her.
"This is Ms. Byrd's robe that she was wearing when she ran outside screaming from Mr. McFarlane," Henry County prosecutor Blair Mahaffey said, holding a robe up to jurors.
He also showed the jury the 7-inch knife that McFarlane said he used to kill Byrd.
McFarlane said he found graphic sexual texts from another man on his girlfriend's phone and lost his mind. His attorney said he acted out of sudden passion and is only guilty of voluntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors countered by saying the text messages were no reason to murder Byrd.
"I don't know of anybody that was in a situation like he was that wouldn't be upset, but you don't get to kill somebody for that," Mahaffey said.