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Jurors convict Daniel Harrigan of murdering 77-year-old in Palm Beach Gardens shopping center

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Posted at 8:03 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 21:21:37-05

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Jurors have convicted Daniel Harrigan of first-degree murder, robbery, burglary, and aggravated battery in a brutal and fatal beating at a Palm Beach Gardens shopping center.

Harrigan sat quietly as the guilty verdicts were read back for murder, burglary, robbery and aggravated battery.

Police said Harrigan attacked and robbed 77-year-old Bernard Fairman on Sept. 11, 2018, while Fairman was walking out of a Stein Mart off U.S. 1.

During the attack, police said Harrigan knocked Fairman to the ground, causing him to strike the back of his head on the pavement. Fairman never regained consciousness and died a week later.

On Thursday, the prosecution rested its case after calling more witnesses and displaying a hat and shirt as evidence to jurors.

“He’s the one that deserves to be convicted,” prosecuting attorney Brain Fernandes told the jury during closing arguments.

Prosecutors say Harrigan trolled around the shopping center looking for a victim that night and that Fairman was attacked during a robbery attempt.

When it came time for the defense to present its case, Harrigan said he would not testify.

"I don't trust the system," Harrigan told a judge.

During closing arguments on Thursday, a prosecutor described the attack on Fairman.

"He had no chance, he never saw this coming," the Assistant State Attorney said.

The defense during closing arguments attacked the prosecution's story.

"Does not mean the evidence shows that," said Harrigan's defense team.

A construction worker testified the day before, on Wednesday, saying he tried to stop defendant.

"He came right at me and I seen him and I kind of shouldered him and took him to the ground," Mitchell Harden said on the stand.

Harden pointed at Harrigan in the courtroom and said Harrigan got up and ran away from the scene as Fairman lay unconscious in the parking lot.

Harrigan’s lawyers tried to point out in court that Harden had recently benefited from help by prosecutors in dealing with an outstanding warrant.

The judge also sentenced Harrigan to two life sentences, as well as 30 years and 15 years on two other charges. They will be served consecutively.