SIOUX CITY — Jessica Goodman maintained her composure as she heard the judge announce that her fiancee's killer had been found guilty of first-degree murder.

But her body couldn't control its involuntary reaction.

"Once I heard it, my whole body got goosebumps," Goodman said Thursday, minutes after a jury found Dwight Evans guilty of first-degree murder and going armed with intent for the May 1, 2021, shooting death of Martez Harrison outside Uncle Dave's Bar in Sioux City.

The five-man, seven-woman jury reached the verdict after more than four hours of deliberations that began late Wednesday afternoon and resumed Thursday morning.

Dwight Evans found guilty

Dwight Evans is led out of the courtroom Thursday after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder and going armed with intent for the May 1, 2021, shooting death of Martez Harrison outside Uncle Dave's Bar in Sioux City. Evans, 18, faces a sentence of life in prison.

Goodman was on edge that whole time, she said, but remained confident jurors would find Evans guilty.

"There was proof. There was video," she said. "I was there that night, and I witnessed it for myself."

Evans, 18, faces life in prison for murder and five years for going armed with intent. Because Evans was 17 and a juvenile at the time of the shooting, Poulson must decide if and/or when he could be eligible for parole. Had Evans been an adult, he would automatically have been ineligible for parole.

Senior Judge Jeffrey Poulson scheduled a hearing for Oct. 4 in Woodbury County District Court.

Evans showed no visible reaction to the verdict and kept his eyes focused forward as he was led from the courtroom while his mother called out "I love you" to him.

Public defender Michael Adams declined to comment after the verdict.

During the first day of the four-day trial, Goodman testified she was a few feet away from Harrison while he was fighting with Lawrence Canady outside the bar at 1427 W. Third St. Canady was among four people apparently seeking revenge on Harrison, who they said had struck a friend's girlfriend days earlier.

Surveillance video outside the bar showed Goodman pull up in her car to pick Harrison up at 1 a.m. After she got out, Canady punched her in the face, drawing Harrison outside, and the two began to fight. The fight spilled into the street, where Evans walked up and fired a shot into Harrison's left flank. Six seconds later he fired a second shot into Harrison's upper abdomen before fleeing the scene on foot.

Harrison, 22, died a short time later at MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center.

Canady was apprehended two blocks away minutes after the shooting. Evans was located about three hours later a mile away near Canady's house. The revolver was found nearby in an alley.

Adams and his co-counsel, Jill Eimermann, never disputed that Evans pulled the trigger. They argued he was intoxicated at the time and was defending himself and others.

Evans' mother testified that Canady brought Evans home hours before the shooting and her son was so "wasted" that he could not hold his head up or walk without help. He was sleeping when she left for work at about 9:30 p.m., but Canady and another friend came and took him out.

Jurors were shown a video of Evans recorded on a convenience store security camera two hours before the shooting in which Evans appeared to be walking normally, though his mother testified his movements indicated he was intoxicated. Police officers who apprehended Evans testified said they saw no indications he was intoxicated.

Adams had encouraged jurors to review and play close attention to the videos, especially one recorded in a police interrogation room more than four hours after the shooting in which officers twice entered and had a difficult time waking Evans, who then stumbled and swayed when they made him stand to have his picture taken.

Evans was not looking to hurt anyone that night, Adams said in his closing argument, and watched the fight between Canady and Harrison unfold without getting involved until he felt threatened to act.

"Dwight stood there because he was stoned out of his head. He wasn't looking for anyone. He might have been looking for a place to sit down and go to sleep," Adams said.

Jurors, obviously, did not accept the intoxication defense, providing Goodman and her family with relief they've sought for more than a year.

"We got justice, justice for Tezzo," she said, referring to Harrison by a nickname.

Canady, 22, of Sioux City, was tried for first-degree murder and other charges, but a jury in December found him guilty of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, plus willful injury causing bodily injury and serious assault. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Evans still faces a second trial for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and failure to affix a drug tax stamp, charges stemming from officers' discovery of marijuana and a scale during a search of his home after his arrest. Poulson previously ordered a separate trial on those charges.

Originally published on siouxcityjournal.com, part of the TownNews Content Exchange.