(Sun Times Wire) A Cook County jury on Monday found rapper Shawn “Lil Shawn”Randall guilty of the 2015 murder of a rival gang member who was gunned down in front of his girlfriend and three young children.
Jurors took a little longer than three hours to convict 22-year-old Randall for the murder of Vallan Francis.
Prosecutors overcame allegations made by Francis’ former fianceé, Keisha Leflore, that detectives told her to pick Randall out of a photo lineup.
Leflore, the only eyewitness to testify at the trial also recanted much of what she told investigators and a grand jury in 2015. Leflore spent much of her time in the courtroom listening as Assistant State’s Attorney Holly Kremin read a transcript of Leflore’s grand jury testimony and played video of the statement she gave three years ago.
Leflore and 22-year-old Francis had been sitting on the front porch of the home they shared in 2800 block of West Arthur on July 17, 2015, when they spotted Randall riding by on a bicycle, prosecutors said.
Francis, a purported member of a Gangster Disciples faction that was feuding with Randall’s branch of the same gang, herded Leflore and the couple’s three children, ages 3, 4 and 7, into the house. As he was grabbing his daughter’s bicycle from the sidewalk, a man wearing a black sweatshirt with the hood up and cinched over his face fired multiple shots at Francis.
Leflore had said in 2015 that she recognized Randall’s distinctive, brown-tipped dreadlocks sticking out of the hoodie. At trial, she testified that she told detectives that Francis had identified Randall to her the day of the shooting. She said she was Facebook friends with Randall and had seen him around the neighborhood.
Leflore had twice ducked subpoenas to testify at the trial, and came to court last week only after a judge in her new home state ordered her to return to Chicago, Kremin said.
Randall had already racked up seven violations of his probation for a 2014 drug conviction, and was on electronic monitoring at the time of the shooting.
The shooting took place just a few months after Randall and fellow gang member and rapper Shaquon “Young Pappy” Thomas uploaded a video for their song, “Shooters,” to YouTube. Thomas was gunned down two weeks later. The video has been viewed more than 13 million times.
Randall faces a minimum 45-year sentence for Francis’ murder.
Article Org: Chicago.suntimes.com