New trial in French artist slaying set for Nov. 30

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — A new trial is set for Nov. 30 for one of the remaining defendants in the murder of French artist Bilal Berreni. Another faces sentencing Friday in the high-profile murder case.

A Wayne County judge Thursday ordered Dionte Travis to trial for a second time.

Earlier this month, jurors in Travis’ trial on armed robbery and murder charges failed to reach a verdict on the murder charge and a weapon charge but convicted him on a robbery charge.

Travis will be sentenced on the robbery charge at 9 a.m. Sept. 30. He was the last remaining defendant in the killing of 23-year-old Berreni, who was found beaten and shot on the city’s east side two years ago. A native of Paris, Berreni was renowned for his street scenes.

Berreni was found dead near the now-demolished Brewster-Douglass public housing complex July 4, 2013. He had been beaten and shot to death. His body laid in the local morgue because he had no identification on him. His attackers took it from him, according to police.

Berreni was robbed of $300, which was allegedly split among the four defendants in the case. The youngest of the group told police he bought junk food and marijuana with his take from the robbery.

Drequone Rich pleaded guilty Sept. 3 in Berreni’s slaying. He faces 23-40 years in prison on second-degree murder charges when he is sentenced Friday. A third adult defendant, Jasin Curtis, who pleaded guilty in May, was sentenced in June to 25-40 years to prison.

Visiting Judge Dalton Roberson will set a sentencing date on Travis’ armed robbery conviction Tuesday.

The trial for the youngest defendant in Berreni’s death has been rescheduled to Dec. 15. The case, which was to start Wednesday, is being heard by Judge Christopher Dingell.

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