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Last of adult suspects convicted in French artist death

Oralandar Brand-Williams

The last of three adult defendants charged with the killing of a French street artist near downtown was convicted Thursday.

Dionte Travis, 19, was found guilty of felony murder by a Wayne County jury in the Bilal Berreni’s slaying. He is scheduled to be sentenced 9 a.m. Dec. 17 before Wayne Circuit Court Judge Bruce Morrow.

Travis’ first trial on the murder charge ended in a hung jury in September. On Sept. 30, he was sentenced to 16-40 years before Wayne County Judge Dalton Roberson on robbery charges in the case.

Berreni, 23, was robbed, beaten and shot to death in July 2013. His body was found near the now-demolished Brewster-Douglass public housing projects near Mack and Interstate 75. Berreni was robbed of $300, according to an alleged confession of the youngest defendant in the case, which was partly spent on marijuana and junk food by the perpetrators.

In October, another defendant, Drequone Rich, was sentenced by Morrow to 23-40 years for second-degree murder.

Rich, 21, accepted a plea deal in September. He admitted to being the lookout man who stopped the victim from escaping his attackers. Rich could have faced life in prison without the plea agreement.

“I don’t think a trial is the best idea for me,” Rich said during the hearing. “I’m guilty.”

Jasin Curtis, 19, also pleaded guilty and was sentenced in June to 27-40 years for robbery and murder.

The younger suspect, who was 14 at the time of the crime, faces trial Dec. 15 before a juvenile court judge for Berreni’s murder.

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