An Arlington jury found Javon Martin guilty Tuesday of first-degree murder and robbery in the 2009 stabbing death of popular Arlington resident Carl Diener.
The jury, which began deliberating Monday, recommended a sentence of 27 years in prison for Martin, 25.
Martin’s cousin and accomplice in the crime, Roger Clark III, pleaded guilty a year ago to first-degree murder in Diener’s killing.
Martin’s lawyers repeatedly said through the trial that Martin was innocent.
Diener’s sister, Patti Diener Lough, said after the verdict that it was a “sad day.”
“We are certainly not celebrating,” Lough said. “This is going to impact the lives of two young men and that is heartbreaking. But there are consequences to taking a life.”
The cousins lived in the Northwest Washington home of Clark’s father, a District lawyer. Martin and Clark were out the night of Dec. 29 drinking and gambling with friends in D.C. when they decided to drive to Arlington to rob someone to recoup their gambling losses, according to prosecutor Molly Newton.