A DeKalb jury found Woodard, 31, guilty on all counts – malice murder, felony murder, possession of a weapon during a felony, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon – after seven hours of deliberation.
The sentencing phase, which is expected to take several days, is underway in DeKalb Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey’s courtroom.
Woodard is facing the death penalty. His defense team, led by attorney Dwight Thomas, is expected to call a psychologist to testify about his mental state.
Barker and Bryant, who worked at the DeKalb South Precinct on Candler Road, were gunned down at 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 16, 2008, at the Glenwood Garden Apartments in Decatur. Dressed in police uniforms, both were working off-duty security jobs at the apartment complex.
They were the first two DeKalb police officers to lose their lives in the line of duty at the same time. Both married, they had eight children between them.
Barker, 33, became a police officer after serving in the Army Reserve. He had been a police officer for four years.
Bryant, 26, had been a police officer for two years. He served in the Marines for four years before joining the DeKalb Police force.
Woodard's trial began Oct. 1. His lawyers spent the last two weeks arguing that he was a man "fearing for his life" when he shot the off-duty officers.
Woodard told the jury that he fired in self-defense, fearing the officers were going to shoot him.
Woodard, who has a history of drug arrests and convictions, testified earlier this week that Bryant and Barker were “jumping and beating me” before firing shots that missed him. But several other witnesses testified that Woodard was the aggressor.
Testimony showed that Woodard was a passenger in a car that the officers tried to stop after smelling marijuana.
Herbie Durham, who was driving the car, gave officers his driver’s license but Woodard refused to, prompting Bryant to pull him from the car and begin to search him.
Durham, who was also charged with murder in the case, testified that Barker ran toward the passenger side of the car as Woodard and Bryant began to struggle, and almost immediately shots were fired. Charges were later dropped against Durham.
DeKalb District Attorney Robert James, who tried the case with his Chief Assistant Don Geary, described the officers as heroes, not “thugs with authority” that defense attorneys tried to paint them. James told the jurors that there was no physical evidence that Woodard was beaten that night by Barker and Bryant.
Jurors began deliberating around 3:45 p.m. on Thursday. By 6:00 p.m., they had posed two questions to the judge. They asked to hear police radio traffic the night of the shootings. While listening it, they asked to hear the testimony of the 911 call center commander.
Woodard is the only suspect on trial for the slaying of the two officers. In the days after the shooting deaths, four men were arrested but charges were also dropped against Mario O'Brian Westbrook, 31, and 28-year-old Deanthius Jamal Johnson.
After Friday's guilty verdict, Emily Guiterrez, Woodard's mother, told Channel 2 News that there was a big cover-up going on.
"They're covering up a lot of stuff,” she said. “The state is covering up a lot of stuff."
The state plans on calling more than 50 witnesses during the sentencing phase of the case.