Jeffrey House, 46, turned to his girlfriend in court, his wrist shackles clanking. “I love you,” he whispered. Then he heard the words that will forever change his life.

“Guilty on all counts,” said Madison County Superior Court 3 Judge Thomas Newman Jr. Friday after the jury deliberated House’s fate for just over an hour.

House will be sentenced at 11 a.m. June 26. He is facing up to 91 years in prison.

The verdict was no surprise. House never denied stabbing Larry O’Bryant five times — three in the face, once in the chest and once in the shoulder. The question for the jury was more about his intent.

The jury said the clincher on whether House meant to kill O’Bryant actually stemmed on the testimony of House’s girlfriend, Christina Beard.

The jurors discussed in depth their decision after the verdict with the deputy prosecutor, defense attorneys and Newman. Their names are being withheld for their protection.

“When she was up on the witness stand,” started one juror.

“She was just so ‘Can’t remember this, can’t remember that,’” another added.

“So defiant,” a third concluded.

Her responses to deputy prosecutor Tom Chaille’s questions while on the stand were abrupt. To the defense team, she tried to smooth over House’s September 2005 attacks.

Beard has stood by her boyfriend the entire time he’s spent in jail awaiting trial. In November, she wrote a letter to Newman asking for the protective order set against him to be dropped.

“I was the victim on this but I am not afraid of Jeffrey House....He doesn’t want to harm me.” Her request was denied.

She told the jury Friday during her testimony that when House was pulling on her hair and slamming her head down on the ground “it didn’t hurt.”

House had drove Beard to her son, Michael’s home with the intent of killing him. Several jurors said that House was using the abuse of Beard out in a nearby yard as bait to lure Michael out of his duplex. Both are believed to have been intoxicated at the time. House was also on narcotic medications for back pain.

Michael did not testify. But the stabbing victim, O’Bryant, said that Michael stepped out on the porch, saw his mother being beaten and went back inside. When Michael did nothing, O’Bryant tried to intervene and was stabbed.

“It wasn’t just cutting, it was more like Norman Bates,” said one juror.

Newman speculated that Beard’s decision not to intervene may have stemmed from being on probation.

Beard pleaded guilty in 2001 to a charge of reckless homicide and criminal recklessness and was sentenced to eight years in prison. He admitted to hitting Wesley Troxell, 12, six times in the chest in November 2000 during a gang initiation. When Troxell wanted out of the organization the next day, Beard, then 15, hit him again, but only made it to five blows before Troxell collapsed.

Beard said he was involved with The Six, a gang active in the neighborhood around East 29th Street, and Troxell wanted to join. Beard said he hit Troxell six times Nov. 13, 2000, to initiate him into the gang.

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