A jury found David Onstott guilty of second degree murder and battery on August 21, 2008, after 2 days of deliberation. Onstott was sentenced to life in prison. The long-awaited trial began with jury selection on August 11, 2008, more than three years after Sarah Lunde's disappearance.
Police said opening statements heard on August 13 revealed information previously sealed from the public by a gag order, which included Onstatt's conversations with his former wife and a former sheriff's deputy.
Though there was no physical evidence linking Onstott to the crime, cops say Sarah's brother Andrew testified that when Onstott took a beer bottle from the home the night of Sarah's disappearance, he was wearing muddy shoes and his jeans were wet.
The prosecution said in May they did not intend to seek the death penalty. Cops say Onstott confessed to the crime shortly after he was captured, but in March, a judge threw the confession out, citing that police ignored Onstott's request for a lawyer.
The sheriff's office says Onstott was arrested the night of April 12, 2005 in Apollo Beach, Fla., north of the girl's hometown of Ruskin, on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. According to deputies, Onstott had threatened a man with a screwdriver during a heated argument.
Investigators found Sarah Lunde's body in an abandoned fish pond Saturday, April 16, 2005. She was last seen April 9, hours before her 17-year-old brother came home to find the front door wide open and his sister gone.
Onstott, who had been convicted of rape and once dated the girl's mother, has been held without bail in the Hillsborough County Jail on unrelated charges. He remains in jail on $250,000 bond for violating probation.