Two con­victed for killing US teen over red shoes and shirt

The Myanmar Times - - World -

TWO Los An­ge­les-area gang mem­bers were found guilty of first-de­gree mur­der for killing a men­tally dis­abled teen over his red shoes and shirt – the colour af­fil­i­ated with a ri­val gang.

Ac­cord­ing to the pros­e­cu­tion, 19-year-old Tavin Price was gunned down in front of his mother near a car wash in the south Los An­ge­les neigh­bour­hood of Hyde Park.

Kanasho Johns, 29 and Kevin Deon John­son, 26, both mem­bers of the Neigh­bour­Hood Crips gang, whose colour is blue, were con­victed by a jury for the May 2015 mur­der.

Mr Johns, who fired the four rounds that killed Mr Price, was also con­victed of felony pos­ses­sion of a firearm.

A third sus­pect in the case, Dwight Kevin Smith, 31, ear­lier pleaded guilty to vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter and faces 12 years in prison.

Pros­e­cu­tor Bobby Zoum­ber­akis told the eight-man, four-woman jury that Mr Price was con­fronted by Mr Smith, who iden­ti­fied him­self as a gang mem­ber and asked about his gang af­fil­i­a­tion: “Why are you wear­ing all that red? Where are you from?”

A fam­ily mem­ber who was with Mr Price dur­ing the con­fronta­tion tes­ti­fied that she told Mr Smith that the young man was not a gang mem­ber and ex­plained that he was “slow”. Shortly there­after, Mr Price was shot as he stood by his mother’s car.

Sev­eral fam­ily mem­bers and friends of the vic­tim who were present at the court­house wore red shoes and jack­ets in a sign of de­fi­ance.

Los An­ge­les has been de­scribed as the “gang cap­i­tal” of the United States, with more than 450 ac­tive gangs op­er­at­ing in the city. –

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