NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jurors have convicted a man in the 2018 slaying of New Orleans rapper Young Greatness.
After more than eight hours of deliberation, a jury late Thursday found Donald Reaux, 43, guilty of second-degree murder in the death of the 34-year-old musician whose real name was Theodore Jones, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported.
Second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence.
Family members said Jones, who moved to Houston after Hurricane Katrina, was in New Orleans for a funeral when he died. His song “Moolah” reached Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. He performed it on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in 2016.
Over the three-day trial, prosecutors said Reaux arranged for two teenagers to steal marijuana from Jones. They said Reaux armed Lovance Wix, now 20, and Donny Maxwell, now 22, with handguns and instructed them to wait outside a Waffle House on Oct. 29, 2018, while Reaux met Jones inside.
When Jones emerged and entered his car, the teens approached, ultimately shooting Jones in the back. He died in the restaurant parking lot. Surveillance video captured Reaux leaving the restaurant and following the attackers as they fled in Jones’ stolen vehicle.
“This case is emblematic of a crisis that is plaguing our streets. Adults using this city’s children to commit crimes for them,” District Attorney Jason Williams said in a statement Friday.
“There’s only one reason why this gentleman is dead,” said Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Strauss during the trial as she pointed to a photo of Jones. Then, she turned and pointed to Reaux. “It’s that man’s fault.”
Wix pleaded guilty in October 2019 to armed robbery, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, conspiracy to obstruct justice and discharging a firearm during a violent crime, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Maxwell, who had confessed to firing the shot that killed Jones, pleaded guilty two months later to manslaughter, armed robbery, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and conspiracy to obstruct justice. He is slated to be sentenced Jan. 31, court records show.
Reaux's attorney, Michael Kennedy, said prosecutors offered no proof to corroborate Reaux's involvement in the robbery “other than the word” of two men who had confessed to the crime.
Reaux was also convicted of obstruction of justice, armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a felon, conspiracy to obstruct justice and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. His formal sentencing was set for Feb. 8 before state District Judge Camille Buras.