A Cook County jury tonight convicted a man in the slaying of a high school basketball player during a melee outside a movie theater on Chicago's Southwest Side more than six years ago.
Eddie Fenton, 27, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the April 2006 shooting death of 17-year-old Willie Williams III, a star on the Robeson High School basketball team and member of the Jesse White Tumblers.
The jury deliberated for about three hours after a four-day trial, according to a court clerk in Judge Kenneth Wadas' courtroom.
Prosecutors said the shooting occurred in the parking lot of the Ford City shopping center after a late showing of the movie "ATL." Two groups of friends had exchanged words in the raucous theater, and the altercation grew physical after the show, prosecutors said.
Williams was walking toward an area where one of his friends was fighting when Fenton approached from behind, pulled out a revolver and shot him in the head, according to prosecutors.
Fenton wasn't charged until 2010, after witnesses came forward and identified him as the shooter. Fenton was arrested after the case was profiled on America's Most Wanted.
Fenton's attorneys said the case against him was built upon lies from police informants and convicted felons who told detectives what they wanted to hear in exchange for deals in their own cases.
While Fenton was awaiting trial in Williams' slaying, police matched his DNA to the scene of a separate slaying, the 2006 shooting of a 28-year-old man at a back-to-school party at Fenton's sister's South Side home. Fenton is awaiting trial in that case.
Judge Kenneth Wadas set sentencing for Nov. 8. Fenton is facing 45 years to life in prison, according to Cook County state's attorney's office spokesman Andy Conklin.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun