By Ryan Velez
The Daily Mail reports that a 19-year old man with the mental capacity of a 12-year old was tragically killed by gang members over the color of his shoes and shirt, which caused him to be mistaken for a rival gang member.
Kevin Johnson, 26, and Kanasho Johns, 29, from Southern Los Angeles were convicted of murder this past Monday along with gang and gun allegations. Each faces 50 years to life in prison upon their sentencing in November. A third man, 31-year-old Devin Smith, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in August. He faces 12 years in prison.
According to prosecutors, the three approached 19-year-old Devin Price near a car wash, and asked him about his gang affiliation based on the colors he was wearing. Price was wearing a red T-shirt and red sneakers at the time, and Johnson and Johns are both members of the Crips gang, rivals of the Bloods, who often wear red to represent their gang. Surveillance footage does not capture any audio of the meeting, but Johnson’s lawyer says that Smith asked Price: “Why you wearing all that red? Where are you from?”
Price replied that he doesn’t bang. After the conversation, Price went back to the car wash to explain to his mother what had happened, when Johns appeared and shot him dead in front of his own mother.
“Tavin Price was murdered because of gang pride, because the gang pride was more important than Tavin Price’s life,” Deputy District Attorney Bobby Zoumberakis told jurors. Jennifer Rivers, Price’s mother, cried as the decision was read. After the hearing, she reached out to several news outlets. According to NBC LA, she remarked that,
“It felt good to know that they got found guilty and that I know my son is going to rest in peace.” Family members defiantly wore red to court, including shirts that said, “Justice.”