Jason Randy Biggs says he was home around the time an 18-year-old man was shot to death three years ago.

But a 3rd District jury did not believe his story. After deliberating for less than two hours, the four-man, four-woman panel convicted Biggs of murder, a first-degree felony, at the conclusion Wednesday of his two-day trial for the Jan. 2, 1996, fatal shooting of Kenny Leiter, 18.Biggs, 23, who is currently serving a prison term for an unrelated case, faces an additional 14 years to life in prison, including gang and weapon enhancements, said prosecutor Carlos Esqueda. Judge Dennis Frederick scheduled Biggs for sentencing on March 19.

"All the evidence shows -- proves -- (Biggs) was right there at the scene," Esqueda told the jury during his closing argument. "He's the man who killed Kenny Leiter."

Witnesses during the trial testified the shooting resulted when Biggs, Jody Allen Carroll, 21, and Trevor Symes, 18, plotted to beat Leiter, believing he had stolen about a half ounce of marijuana from one of their friends at a New Year's Eve party. Leiter belonged to a rival gang but had not been at the party.

Carroll testified that shortly after 8 p.m., Biggs, Carroll and Symes spotted Leiter and his girlfriend, Lori Nelson, walking to a nearby convenience store from their apartment, 46 W. Lester Ave. When the couple was walking back, the trio got out of their car and followed them into the apartment complex parking lot.

Holding a car tire iron, Carroll approached Leiter and began to beat him, Carroll testified. Leiter pulled out a knife, and Carroll threw the tire iron at him.

As Carroll began to walk away, Biggs stepped up with a gun, Carroll said. After a brief verbal exchange between Biggs and Leiter, Carroll heard the gun click five times before firing a round.

Leiter was struck in the left shoulder. The bullet pierced both lungs, the esophagus and an important artery, causing him to bleed to death, said assistant medical examiner Dr. Maurine Frikke.

After the shooting, the trio fled in Carroll's car and met Biggs' girlfriend at a McDonald's, Carroll testified.

Defense attorney Sam McVey said Carroll was the real shooter and that Carroll and Symes chose to testify against Biggs because he was a common acquaintance. Biggs' mother, Cheryl Poole, testified her son had been at home when they saw a report about the murder that night on a 9 p.m. news broadcast.

"If he had been with Jody, he couldn't have been there at 9 p.m.," McVey told the jury during his closing argument.

Also, Biggs did not match the description of the shooter given by Nelson, who told police the shooter was a Hispanic man.

But Esqueda said the shooter was wearing dark clothing and a hat.

With such clothing, Biggs "could pass for a Hispanic," said Esqueda, who is himself Hispanic. "He probably looks a little light. In my community, he's called a guero."

Carroll, who was the first to confess to Metro Gang Unit detective Rich Montanez about how Leiter was killed, was also charged with murder when the case was finally solved last summer.

In exchange for his testimony, prosecutors will drop the murder charge and let him plead guilty to homicide by assault, a third-degree felony. With a gang enhancement, he will face zero to 10 years in prison.

Symes was never charged in the murder.