US man jailed for murder of French graffiti artist

7th January 2016, Comments 0 comments

A Detroit man convicted of murdering a French graffiti artist during a robbery was sentenced to up to 60 years in prison Thursday, US prosecutors said.

The body of Bilal Berreni, 23, was discovered in a housing project in July 2013 but it took nearly a year for officials to identify him, the Detroit News reported.

He was set upon by a group of young men who went looking for someone to rob after losing money in a dice game.

"It sickens me that a young, talented artist who had traveled the world to pursue his passion was murdered here, thus reinforcing the stereotypes for many about our city of Detroit," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said when charges were announced in September.

Berreni grew up in Paris and began covering the walls of his neighborhood in the 20th arrondissement when he was 15, the newspaper said.

Dionte Travis, 21, was the last of three adults and one teen to be convicted in Berreni's death.

He is believed to be the one to have shot Berreni in the face after spotting him near basketball courts at the now-demolish housing projects.

They stole his wallet and about $300 which Berreni had hidden inside his shoes.

Prosecutors told the court that Travis used his share to buy marijuana and potato chips.

He was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison after being convicted of felony murder, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office told AFP.


© 2016 AFP

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