Detroit man pleads guilty to slaying of French street artist
Detroit — A young Detroit man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for his role in the 2013 killing of a French street artist.
Jasin Reno Curtis, 18, reached a plea deal Friday with a sentence agreement of 25 to 40 years to be served consecutively with a two-year felony firearm count, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
Detroiters Curtis, Dionte Darryl Travis, 18, and Drequone Lamar Rich, 20, were charged with a variety of counts in the slaying of the killing of artist Bilal Berreni, including felony murder, armed robbery, felon in possession of a firearm and felony firearm.
Berreni, 23, was robbed and killed outside the abandoned Brewster Homes public housing project July 13, 2013.
Curtis is to be sentenced at 8:30 a.m. June 12 by Wayne County Circuit Judge Bruce Morrow.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Morrow also has consolidated the trials of Rich and Travis. Jury selection and opening statements for Travis will begin on Sept. 8 while jury selection and opening statements for Rich will begin on Sept. 9.
The defendants are believed to be part of a city gang that preyed on outsiders in the east-side neighborhood near the city's cultural center and the area near Interstate 75 and Brewster.
About $300 was taken during the robbery of Berreni. A 14-year-old also received $50, according to confession read by a Detroit police homicide investigator during a September hearing for the youngster, whose alleged involvement is being handled by a juvenile court. According to the confession, the youth said he spent the money on “weed” and junk food.
Berreni was living in Detroit at the time he was killed in the summer of 2013. He didn't have identification on his body and it took authorities until the following March to identify him through DNA and fingerprints.
Born in Paris, Berreni began skillfully covering the walls of his neighborhood with murals at age 15.