A jury in Cook County, Illinois, returned a guilty verdict Thursday for murder in the case of a gang member from Chicago’s South Side who was accused of killing a Chicago teenager in 2014 the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Ahbir Sardin, now 20 but 17 at the time of the murder, was convicted of first-degree murder for shooting Venzel Richardson, who was 14 when he died after leaving a convenience store near 61st Street and King Drive on February 12, 2014.
Chicago-area rappers, including Chief Keef, Cdai, and RondoNumbaNine, referred to the convicted murderer in lyrics a few times as “D. Rose,” according to unnamed sources cited in the article. Prosecutors allege he’s a member of the Black Disciples and fired a handgun at the group that included Venzel multiple times.
He will be sentenced on October 26.
Teachers remembered Venzel as a caring and courteous person who participated in the Mikva Challenge at his school. This is a program that helps young people become informed, empowered, and active citizens and community leaders. The group tries to accomplish this by engaging youth in civics education, hoping to transform their learning through their own experience with important community issues.
Gang disputes are often behind homicides in Chicago.
Many gangs in the city have splintered into different factions, which leads directly to more violence, according to Arthur Lurigio, a criminology professor at Loyola University Chicago, who was cited in the New York Times. Black gangs, more than Latino gangs, have splintered, and the disputes—and subsequent killings—aren’t so much over territory and profits but over personal insults. Social media has been partly responsible.
“Young people are making a lot of indirect threats toward cliques and rival gangs that are being interpreted as being threatening,” the Times quoted Desmond Patton, a professor at Columbia University who has studied violence on social media, as saying. “Tagging is the conversation starter that could lead to someone getting a gun.”