16-year-old found guilty in 2022 New Kensington homicide, 2 others found guilty of robbery

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — A verdict was reached for the three people charged in the shooting death of a New Kensington man in July 2022. 16-year-old Amir Kennedy, 17-year-old Da’Montae Brooks, and 20-year-old Elijah Gary were the three of seven defendants on trial.

Jurors started deliberations just after 2:30 p.m. Friday.

Kennedy was just 14 when police say he shot and Jason killed Raiford at the Valley Royal Court apartments in New Kensington. He testified yesterday that he fired 11 shots at Raiford from a semiautomatic rifle because he feared Raiford would turn around and start shooting him.

Earlier this week, Raquan Carpenter, one of four defendants in this case not currently on trial testified the gun Raiford had was not loaded. It was a gun he handed Elijah Gary as Raiford arrived that day. Carpenter and three others are not on trial as they are cooperating with prosecutors.

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Surveillance video from the apartment shows a fight between Raiford and the others inside the apartment foyer. Prosecutors say Gary planned to gather the others and rob Raiford of money Raiford allegedly owed him for drugs.

However, defense attorneys say there was no conspiracy to rob Raiford, telling jurors the prosecutors are unable to prove that.

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Kennedy was found guilty of first-degree murder and faces 25 years in prison.

Brooks and Gary faced second-degree murder charges but were found not guilty.

Gary was found guilty on charges of robbery with the intention to inflict injury, robbery with threats of fear for bodily injury, aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Brooks was found guilty of robbery with intent to cause fear of serious bodily injury, criminal conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a firearm.

Sentencing will be held in 90 days.

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