CLEVELAND — A 20-year-old Cleveland gang member has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 17-year-old girl he wanted silenced after helping recruit her to rob a bank. reports prosecutors say Kiechaun Newell lured Breanna Fluitt from her East Cleveland home and shot her in the back after surveillance photos from the October 2016 robbery were made public. Newell’s mother contacted police after hearing him brag about the slaying.

Newell apologized during Thursday’s sentencing in Cleveland and said he accepted the jury’s verdict. Yet he also maintained his innocence and said he planned to appeal his aggravated murder conviction.

A defense attorney said Newell had a traumatic childhood.

Co-defendant Jeffrey Doss trial is scheduled for trial in February. He’s pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and other charges.

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