Cops: Detroit Teens Murdered French Artist

Youngest suspect was 13 when Bilal Berreni killed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2014 3:55 AM CDT
Cops: Detroit Teens Murdered French Artist
This undated image provided by the Detroit Police shows suspect Dionte Travis, 17.    (AP Photo/Detroit Police via Detroit Free Press)

A French street artist who worked with Tunisian revolutionaries and Libyan refugees ended up dead after coming to work in Detroit, police say. Four suspects, all of them teenagers when Bilal Berreni was murdered in July last year, are accused of shooting the 23-year-old in the face and dumping his body outside an abandoned public housing project, the AP reports. The youngest suspect, a 14-year-old boy, was 13 when Berreni was killed but could still be sentenced as an adult if convicted. He was charged yesterday and the older three were arraigned on charges including felony murder and armed robbery Wednesday.

Berreni—who used the name "Zoo Project" for his murals—was not identified until seven months after the killing, when his fingerprints were run through a federal database, reports Michigan Live. "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 in a statement. "We will do everything that we possibly can under the law to bring the killers of Mr. Berreni to justice." Some of Berreni's work can be seen here. (More Detroit stories.)

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