Devin Jefferson Guilty of Murdering U. of Memphis Football Player Taylor Bradford

Taylor Bradford (AP)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (CBS/AP) The man prosecutors say orchestrated the robbery plan that ended in the 2007 fatal shooting of University of Memphis football player Taylor Bradford was convicted of murder Sunday after jurors deliberated through the weekend.

Devin Jefferson, 23, was automatically sentenced by Judge Chris Craft to life in prison, where he must serve 51 years before he can be considered for release.

Bradford was at the wheel of his car when he was shot in the right side during the robbery attempt outside his apartment in the Carpenter Complex just north of Central. He sped away but crashed his car into a tree after succumbing to his injuries.

Jefferson, a former psychology major, was not present at the time of the shooting but two of his alleged accomplices testified during trial that Jefferson told them Bradford had money, showed them where he lived on campus and helped them locate him the night he was killed, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Jefferson was the first of four people charged in the case to go to trial. Victor Trezevant, Daeshawn Tate, both 23, and Courtney Washington, 24, are charged with first-degree murder and attempted aggravated robbery in the case, and will be on trial at a later date.

Bradford's mother, Marva, spent Mother's Day in court waiting for the announcement of the verdict but told reporters it was worth the wait.

"This will be a special Mother's Day," Marva Bradford said. "And I will always be Taylor's mother."