PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — It was an emotional day in court on Wednesday as a local man accused of murder learned his fate.

It didn’t take long for jurors to decide whether or not William Burks would be convicted of second-degree murder.

The state’s case was compelling with emotional and graphic testimony from witnesses along with an admission of guilt from Burks.

Jurors heard from neighbors, Burks’ ex-girlfriend Kayla Roberts, key experts and an investigator with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.

Burks stabbed 64-year-old Cynthia Black in the neck back in February 2021. Black was wheelchair-bound after suffering a stroke.

“He went in that bathroom to a 64-year-old woman, who was disabled, paralyzed, sitting on the toilet and just started stabbing her,” said Prosecutor Peter Overstreet.

Bay County Sheriff’s Investigator, Jake Roberts, testified in court and recounted his experience with Burks shortly after the murder.

Roberts said Burks appeared to be under the influence which Burks later admitted to in a recorded interview with Roberts.

Burks said he had been using methamphetamines and hadn’t slept in 7 days prior to the murder.

In the recording, Roberts also questioned Burks on whether or not his intention was to kill Black. He said yes.

Black’s family was also in court on Wednesday to deliver a personal message to Burks after he was convicted.

“You killed my sister,” said Cynthia Black’s sister, Carla Madinger. “And I hope that you rot forever and I hope that you have as many nightmares as I do every night.”

Prosecutor Peter Overstreet also became emotional reading a message from Black’s son.

Judge Stevenson called the act a senseless killing before sentencing Burks to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Burks said the reason he killed Black was because he believed Black was abusing his child he shares with Kayla Roberts. Investigators looked into those claims by taking the child to the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center where they came up unfounded.