Three men have been handed lengthy prison terms for their roles in the shooting death of 15-year-old Demario Bailey, who was walking with his identical twin when he was gunned down in Chicago in 2014.
Cook County Judge Timothy Joyce sentenced Tarik Brakes, 19, to 45 years behind bars. Prosecutors identified him as the gunman. His brother, Deafro, 21, received 31 years. Carlos Johnson, 20, was sentenced to 37 years. All were teenagers when they tried to rob the twins as they walked to basketball practice in December 2014.
The trio had just robbed two other victims when the Bailey brothers came along, prosecutors said.
The twins fought back as they were grabbed and Demario was shot while trying to help his brother, Demacio Bailey testified during the trial, the Chicago Tribune reported.
A fourth person involved in the attack, Isiah Penn, 21, testified against his three friends in exchange for a plea deal. He has yet to be sentenced.
Demario Bailey's death was a heavy blow to his family, friends and fellow students. The 6-foot, 5-inch student was tagging along with his brother, who was headed to basketball practice, though Demario wasn't on the team.
“He was my hero. He loved me. My friend," his mother said in court. "He was taken away from us too soon — three days before his birthday — just for being himself,” she said. “For a real mother, there will never be justice to see her son buried before her."
Judge Joyce contrasted the lives of the twins with their attackers.
"You have two young men, Demario and Demacio, who are admirable beyond measure. Two young men brought up by a loving mother, staying out of trouble, keeping their noses clean," he said.
Then "you got four young men ... who embraced the thug life."
The defendants were charged with murder, robbery and attempted robbery.