Chicago teenager sentenced in shooting death of 16 year-old boy in Elkhart

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By: Jon Zimney

A Chicago teenager was sentenced on Thursday, Sept. 24, to 58 years in prison for the shooting death of 16-year-old Ontario Brown Jr. back in December of 2014 at the Washington Gardens apartment complex.

Keenan Mardis was living with friends in the Elkhart area. Animosity between Mardis and his friends began as a fist fight, but escalated, according to the Elkhart County Prosecuting Office.

Evidence presented during the trial showed that once the fight was over, Brown started to leave with a friend. Mardis demanded Brown’s designer belt but Brown refused, according to the Prosecutor.

Mardis then pulled a handgun from his waistband and shot Brown in the head, according to the Prosecutor.

Mardis and his friends then took off.

The death was described as “gang related” and was related to the April shooting death of 14-year-old DezJuan Sanders, according to the Elkhart County Prosecuting Office.

Jwan Hardin has pleaded guilty to murder in that case. Prosecutors said Hardin was “a rival of Mardis’ associates.