Three former high school students on trial for the January shooting death of an Atlee High School sophomore have been found guilty.
Da'Von Byers, Xavia Highsmith, and Kevin Drayton are convicted of the murder of 16-year-old Brett Wells. Wells was found shot to death inside his Verdi Lane home on January 21.
It was a very emotional scene at the courthouse following a two day trial.
There was no jury in this case - only a judge, who deliberated for roughly an hour before rendering his verdict. And the emotions could not be hidden as family members ran from the courtroom.
Some people even had to be carried from the courtroom, unable to leave under their own power, because they were so distraught.
According to testimony, the three defendants made arrangements to rob marijuana from Brett Wells at his Verdi Lane home - four ounces, priced at roughly $1,300. The young men never intended to pay, and when they tried to leave with the drugs, Wells chased, and was shot through the heart and spine following a scuffle.
"It was a difficult case," said prosecutor Shari Skipper. "You could tell from the judge's ruling that it was difficult. One that he considered very carefully before coming to what, obviously, the Commonwealth believes is the right decision."
All three defendants were convicted of all charges, including first degree murder, conspiracy, attempted robbery, and weapons offenses. They each face a minimum of six years in prison, and a maximum of life behind bars.
Sentencing takes place in February.
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