updated 8/28/2009 6:08:29 PM ET 2009-08-28T22:08:29

Separate Palm Beach County juries have convicted two men in the gang rape and assault of a mother and her son during a home invasion two years ago.

The first jury deliberated 5 1/2 hours Friday before convicting 20-year-old Tommy Poindexter of rape, kidnapping, assault and burglary. He faces multiple life terms. A second jury returned less than two hours later, convicting 18-year-old Nathan Walker of similar charges. The two were tried together but with separate juries. A third defendant, 16-year-old Avion Lawson, pleaded guilty and testified against Poindexter and Walker. A fourth defendant, 17-year-old Jakaris Taylor, is set for trial next month.

Authorities say they identified the defendants with fingerprints and DNA. They are still seeking additional suspects.

The defendants made limited admissions to the attack, but also tried to deflect blame. Lawson claims he raped the woman once, then left soon after. Poindexter's attorney says her client raped the woman, but didn't participate in any other crimes. Walker's attorney hasn't acknowledged any guilt.

Authorities say fingerprints and DNA found on clothing and condoms inside the apartment identified the defendants. They are still seeking additional suspects.

The prosecutor told jurors that it doesn't matter how many of the crimes each defendant actually participated in — they are all equally responsible for the entire episode. Defense attorneys had argued the juries don't have to find guilt on all counts just because the suspects may have committed some of the crimes.

Earlier in the week, the female victim described for jurors the terrifying night of June 18, 2007, in her public housing complex apartment a few miles from downtown West Palm Beach.

She recounted how she prayed for her life and cried in pain as she was repeatedly raped and her son beaten by 10 masked, gun-toting teens. Then she testified about being forced to perform oral sex on her son. The victims were then doused with chemicals in an attempt to clean the crime scene.

Throughout the attack, the suspects demanded money, but she had none. The victims had fled even worse poverty in their native Haiti several years earlier, landing in the crime-plagued Dunbar Village housing complex where the attack occurred.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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