While their ordeal will truly never be over, we hope the families of Scott Garlick and Raymond Williams, as well as everyone else affected by the horrible events of April 6, 2009, will find some closure with the conviction of Nicholas A. Horner.
It's been a long, difficult ordeal - just shy of three years - for Horner to get his day in court, and while formal sentencing remains, what it will be is no mystery.
Horner, 31, will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing the 19-year-old Garlick, a Hollidaysburg Area High School student, and the 64-year-old Williams, who had recently retired, during a robbery of the 58th Street Subway and subsequent getaway. Another Subway employee, Michele Petty, was shot during the robbery.
While their lives were most directly affected by Horner's actions, many others also were scarred by the events of that day and have had their lives changed forever. They, too, must continue the healing.
A jury unanimously convicted Horner on two counts of first-degree murder as well as aggravated assault, three counts of robbery and two counts of making terroristic threats but was divided when it came to the prosecution's request for the death penalty.
That means the sentence will be life in prison, a punishment fitting of such a heinous act.
While admitting his actions, Horner's defense attorneys tried to deflect some of the blame onto post-traumatic stress disorder from his time with the Army in Iraq. It didn't change the jurors' minds in the guilt phase, but it probably saved Horner from facing the death penalty.
We can see no justification for Horner's actions that day. It's ironic that he received a degree of mercy from the jury, when he showed no similar mercy to his victims - innocent bystanders - that fateful day. Their families continue to cope with the grief, the pain of their losses. We continue to offer our sympathies.
And while convictions are in the books, this case won't completely disappear from the news. Undoubtedly there will be appeals that will dredge up this painful event again for the victims and their families. We hope they continue to show the resolve that got them through this trial in the years ahead.
Even if Horner had received the death penalty, there is no way to wipe away the pain and hurt of April 6, 2009.
We only hope all of those affected will rest a little easier. The holes in their hearts can never be repaired.
They can only take comfort that 12 men and women have acted to ensure that the criminal responsible will pay by spending his life behind bars.