Dominick Calhoun's father and aunt said they were "very nervous, anxious, and uneasy" waiting for the verdict.
They say defense attorney James Piazza is intelligent and had the potential of swaying some jurors to believing Brandon Hayes may not have been guilty based on the evidence.
Piazza told the jury the death of Donimick Calhoun was tragic and that the jurors "should shed tears" for the little boy, but that this case was not about "what" but "who" killed him.
The prosecution relied heavily on the testimony of Corrine Baker, Dominick's mother, who will serve a 13 to 30 year prison sentence for pleading guilty to second degree murder.
The defense reminded jurors that Corrine Baker's own sister says Corrine is a liar and manipulator.
The defense says Corrine Baker killed her child according to what Brandon Hayes said in one of his interviews with police.
Piazza quoted from one of Brandon Hayes' interviews by saying, "Corrine repeatedly hit Dominick for three days. Brandon noticed burn marks on him and that Corrine one time arrived home after a three day period and was mad at Brandon because brandon only spanked Dominick and did not beat him with a belt."
The prosecution closed its arguments by saying Corrine Baker was not on trial and admitted that Caker was an awful mother. However, the prosecution said Corrine's testimony was consistent about the attacks Corrine said Hayes made on Dominick.
"There are repeated blunt-force injuries over days. Kick, after kick, after kick. Punch, after hit, after punch, after hit," says Tammy Phillips.
Dominick's family says while justice was served, the punishment of life in prison for Brandon Hayes will not be enough because Dominick is still gone.
"Nothing would be enough. Nothing other than having him back could ever remotely be enough," says Dominick's aunt Melanie Calhoun.
Dominick's family says it will be difficult to move forward now.
Relatives say they never truly had a time to grieve until justice was served.
They say the real grieving starts now.