Nick Gordon, Bobbi Kristina Brown
Nick Gordon, photographed with Bobbi Kristina Brown at the Hollywood, California, premiere of “Sparkle” on Aug. 16, 2012, has been found legally responsible for his former girlfriend’s death. Reuters

Despite his best attempts to prove his innocence, Nick Gordon has been found responsible for the death of Bobbi Kristina Brown.

According to tweets from Jennifer Leslie of NBC’s 11Alive News in Georgia, Gordon failed to show up in court on Friday morning. Due to his absence, the judge presiding over the case ruled him responsible. Attorneys representing Bobbi Kristina’s estate told the judge it was clear from the beginning that he was not taking the process seriously. The lawyer specifically cited Gordon’s sit-down with daytime TV host Dr. Phil McGraw as evidence of his lack of sincerity and interest in the case. Leslie claims a jury will later hear the case regarding damages against Gordon. Family outside the court told reporters that while they were pleased with the ruling, they felt it went on for far too long.

This is the first break in the investigation into Bobbi Kristina’s death in the more than one year since her passing. On the anniversary of her death, E! News reported that police in Roswell, Georgia, closed the investigation. The Fulton County District Attorney, however, was still on a quest for answers. At the time Gordon had not been charged with anything or arrested, but was the prime suspect in the investigation. Bobbi Kristina’s family made it clear that they believed he was to blame, assuring fans on numerous occasions that they were going to get justice for her. The estate of the only daughter of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston was suing Gordon for her death, which his legal team felt was unnecessary. Gordon’s attorneys claimed he was reeling from having lost “the love of his life.” Regardless, Bobbi Kristina’s team promised to be relentless in their pursuit.

“There is no statute of limitations but, at some point in time, if [someone] were to be indicted, juries are more difficult to convince,” said Darryl Cohen, a criminal defense attorney. “The longer from the time of the incident to the time it goes to trial, it’s harder. In my view, most would be like, ‘Why did they wait so long?’ Unless there is some evidence, scientific, or an eyewitness that came out of the woodwork — that clearly is significant. If it’s nothing new then it makes jurors much more reticent to convict.”

Gordon is said to have had an all-star team of lawyers — which he assembled on his own — but represented himself in court. Clearly he was unable to impress the judge. It remains unclear what his sentence will be.