Four gang members were convicted of the murder of a 15-year-old boy who was stabbed more than 40 times in a “well-planned” attack.
Keelan Wilson sustained fatal stab wounds just yards from her Wolverhampton home in May 2018.
A 13-week trial resulted in unanimous convictions against Brian Sasa, 20, Tyrique King, Zenay Pennant-Phillips and Nehemie Tampwo (19).
England Regional News – Midlands
Four men have been convicted of the murder of Wolverhampton teenager Keelan Wilson.
— TSC International News (@news_tsc) January 18, 2021
The jury learned that Keelan Wilson was stabbed with various weapons in a taxi on Langley Road in Wolverhampton’s Merry Hill neighborhood.
At the beginning of the trial, District Attorney Michael Duck told QC: “It is a real sadness that people of this age are willing to take another person’s life.
“It’s not just the fact that they were ready to take this life, but the way they chose it.
“It wasn’t a spontaneous act of violence at all. It was a well-planned group attack, led by several young men armed with knives, and it was planned to execute another young man.
Mr. Duck said there was evidence that the victim was “involved in gang culture” despite his age.
The court heard that Keelan Wilson death occurred after two “significant” clashes between groups of young people on the same day, which were described as “the culmination of growing gang violence in the Wolverhampton area.”
Long Ley Sasa, Heath Town; King of Chelwood Gardens, Wolverhampton; Tampwo from Fern Grove to Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire; and Pennant-Phillips, whose address cannot be published for legal reasons, will be sentenced in March.
All four had denied the murder.
The verdicts on the case came about two hours after Judge Michael Chambers QC last week fired a coronavirus positive juror.
Praising the jury for their patience and goodwill in the referrals previously described as “endless” related to Covid, Judge Chambers said, “It is common for the trial judge to join the jury at the end of each trial for your service.
“If so, it deserves special praise. In such cases, in particular, it is important that the rule of law persists.
The judge said of Keelan’s death: “It is an absolute tragedy that a 15-year-old boy lost his life to others not much older than him.
Prosecutors used DNA and fingerprint evidence, phone records and testimony to initiate proceedings against the four killers.
After the case, Detective Inspector Nick Barnes said, “Keelan’s death was useless and tragic. He was brutally murdered by a group of young men carrying knives.
“Our message is clear: if he carries a knife, he will probably use it. The consequences are truly devastating and those responsible are now facing long prison sentences.
Keelan was a boy who had his whole life ahead of him. Many feel their loss; The shocking amount of violence on our streets was unnecessary and completely incomprehensible. “”