Gang member convicted of killing 9-month-old baby in retaliation shooting gone wrong

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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VIDEO: Gang Members Convicted of Killing Baby in Retaliation Shooting Gone Wrong

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Kenneth Jackson wanted revenge.

The Sex Money Murder gang leader had gotten word that a fellow gang member, Oslushsla Smith, killed another gang member in an unauthorized killing. From his jail cell at Autry State Prison, Jackson ordered retaliation that would leave a 9-month-old dead.

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On Monday, a jury convicted Jackson and Christopher “Trillz” Florence, both 33, in the shooting death of 9-month-old KenDarious Edwards, the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office announced. Edwards was hit by a bullet on the eve of Mother’s Day 2014 as his mother, Tanyika Smith, attempted to shield him in her arms.

Marco Fernando Watson, 39, was also convicted of weapons charges in connection with the crime.

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A fourth man, Devin Thomas, a mid-level member of Sex Money Murder and the actual triggerman, was convicted in November 2015 of killing Edwards and is serving life plus 20 years in prison in a plea deal that avoided him potentially getting the death penalty.

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Gang member Devin Thomas was sentenced to life in prison on Nov. 30, 2015, after pleading guilty to fatally shooting 9-month-old KenDarious Edwards in May 2014.

Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

Gang member Devin Thomas was sentenced to life in prison on Nov. 30, 2015, after pleading guilty to fatally shooting 9-month-old KenDarious Edwards in May 2014.
Caption
Gang member Devin Thomas was sentenced to life in prison on Nov. 30, 2015, after pleading guilty to fatally shooting 9-month-old KenDarious Edwards in May 2014.

Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

Police said gang members Watson and Florence, along with Thomas, forced their way into the home of KenDarious' grandmother in the shooting.

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Tanyika Smith was hit eight times in the attack while hiding in a bathtub with her son. She suffered permanent damage to her vision and sense of smell and taste when one of the bullets lodged in her face. Edwards' grandmother, Tracy Smith and another woman visiting the home, Teniqua Clark, were also injured.

“The investigation revealed a tangled web of deadly gang-related crimes involving Jackson...and several subordinates who operated according to his orders,” DeKalb County District Attorney’s spokeswoman Yvette Jones said in a news release.

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The sordid twists of that bloody night began May 3, 2014 when Michael Phillips, 29, was fatally shot at a Stone Mountain house party where a group had gathered to watch boxer Floyd Mayweather defend his title. That night, Bloods gang member Alexis Malone got into a fight with a woman when Tanyika Smith's brother and Sex Money Murder member Oslushsla Smith jumped in to help Malone and fatally shot Phillips.

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Worried she had talked to police, Smith fatally shot Malone — an unauthorized hit that would cost him his nephew’s life. Smith was later convicted in the crime.

Jackson had ordered shooters to find Smith, but when they couldn’t, he ordered a hit on his mother’s To Lani Farm Road home.

“Those misguided efforts, instead, resulted in the death of (Smith’s) nephew ,” Jones said in the release.

Jackson and Florence, 33, are scheduled for sentencing Nov. 13 and face life in prison plus 105 years without the possibility of parole. Watson faces 10 years in prison.

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Staff writer Christian Boone contributed to this report. 

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