Hayes' mother said much the same thing outside the courthouse after the verdict.
"A grave injustice was done today," Lois Hands said. "Joanna did not do this. She would not have hurt Heather."
Hayes, 45, of Luthersville, Ga., was convicted of gunning down her daughter-in-law in the parking lot of a Target store on Scenic Highway North in Snellville. Several witnesses testified at trial that the shooter wore a "Sonny and Cher" style man's wig and fake mustache when she walked up and shot Strube point blank in the head.
Police said Hayes dressed as a man and donned the disguise to avoid being recognized by onlookers as well as her own grandson, 18-month-old Carson Strube. He was buckled into his car seat when his mother was slain outside her vehicle.
Mary and Buddy Allen, the parents of Heather Strube, have been fixtures in the courtroom every day of the trial. They burst into tears when the verdict was read. A relative mouthed to Mary Allen "no more fear," and she nodded in response.