Three teenagers were sentenced to prison terms ranging from seven to nine years Wednesday in the beating death of a neighborhood man who was set upon by a mob of youngsters and adults.
Levar McNeil, 16; Devin Beamon, 16; and Lavelle Mays, 18, pleaded guilty to reckless homicide in the death of Charlie Young Jr.
The beating was triggered by a fight over an egg thrown in a prank. Young, 36, was chased down by a mob on Sept. 29 after he knocked out a tooth of a boy who had been part of a group that had thrown the egg at him.
The mob pummeled Young on a porch with broomsticks, shovels, a folding chair and a milk crate in a beating so brutal that his ear came off and blood was left spattered on the ceiling of the porch. Young died several days later.
Prosecutor Mark Williams said perhaps 16 children and men took part in the beating.
Young's mother, Fannie, told the judge that her son did not deserve to die that way. "I can feel the pain that my child went through. I can feel the blows, the fear," she said.
McNeil was sentenced to seven years, Beamon to eight and Mays to nine. Beamon admitted putting Young in a wrestling hold while others in the mob, including McNeil and Mays, beat him.
"This particular crime has meant a lot more to this city than just one more grim homicide," Judge John Franke said. "It's raised the level of fear and concern."
The oldest defendant, Antonio Albert, 33, pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Three defendants are awaiting sentencing, and the cases of six others have yet to be heard.