DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Prosecutors say Detroit police have arrested four young males in the robbery and killing of a French street artist whose body was found in the ruins of an abandoned public housing project one year ago.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Wednesday that she filed first-degree murder charges against males ages 17, 18 and 20 and expects to charge a 14-year-old boy in the killing of 23-year-old Bilal Berreni.
The story made national headlines when Berreni’s body was found July 29 , 2013, outside the dilapidated Frederick Douglass Homes — more commonly knows at the Brewster projects.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner determined Berreni had died from a gunshot wound to the head.
No identification or passport was found and Berreni’s body, and it took Michigan State Police seven months to identify him through fingerprints.
Dionte Travis, 17; Jasin Curtis, 18; and Drequone Rich, 20, have been jailed pending a probable cause hearing Sept. 11. It wasn’t immediately known if they have lawyers.
Curtis, Travis and Rich are each charged with Felony Murder, Armed Robbery, Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Felony Firearm. Curtis and Travis were arraigned on August 29, 2014 and Rich was arraigned on August 30, 2014.
The 14-year-old suspect’s name has not been released. He is being held Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility and was expected to be arraigned Thursday.
According to family members, the young artist — who painted large pieces in black and white on buildings — was in Detroit in 2012 and returned last year. He occasionally may have lived as a squatter in vacant structures, his father said.
Worthy said specific facts and evidence that led to the arrest of the adult defendants would be presented at a preliminary exam set for Sept. 11 in 36th District Court.
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