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2 Toronto gang members convicted of murder

March 24, 2013 at 11:26 AM   |   Comments

TORONTO, March 24 (UPI) -- A Toronto jury, swayed in part by violent rap videos posted to YouTube, convicted two gang members in the shooting death of a member of a rival gang.

The shooter, Chael Mills, 23, who uses the name Heartless G for his rap videos, was found guilty of first-degree murder Saturday and received an automatic life sentence with a chance of parole in 25 years, the Toronto Star reported.

His accomplice, Lavare Williams, 21, was found guilty of second-degree murder and also received an automatic life sentence. Williams will return to Superior Court May 9 for a sentencing hearing in which the judge will determine a parole eligibility period of between 10 and 25 years.

The two Vaughan Road Bloods gang members were convicted of shooting to death Mitchell Celise, 17, a member of the rival Eglington West Crips gang. A friend who was walking with Celise testified Mills and Williams confronted Celise for wearing blue -- the signature color of the Crips -- in Bloods territory.

Mills and Williams chased Celise down a street and fired five shots at him, hitting him once in the back, the friend, whose name was not reported, testified.

Prosecutors Mary Misener and Patrick Clement submitted YouTube rap videos featuring Mills and Williams, violent lyrics, graffiti, tattoos and intercepted jail letters as evidence in the three-month trial, more than has ever been admitted in a gang trial in a Toronto courtroom, the Star reported.

Defense attorneys Talman Rodocker and Roots Gadhia contended having a fondness for gangster rap doesn't make someone a violent gang member, but failed to have to have the evidence excluded.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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