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14-Year-Old Zaveon Marks Found Guilty of Murder

A jury found 14-year-old Zaveon Marks guilty of one count of first degree murder and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon in the shooting death of 16-year-old Zarious Fair last summer. 

He was found not guilty on an additional count of first degree murder. The prosecution relied on testimony from the sole eye witness, another teenager who was with Fair at the time of the shooting.

She immediately told police she recognized the shooter as someone she was friends with on Facebook. Police determined that account belonged to Marks. The witness later identified Marks in a police lineup. 

She maintains Marks was wearing a black hoodie at the time of the attack. But surveillance video from a nearby business shows Marks was wearing a white hoodie, a fact the defense leaned on during closing arguments.

Eighteen-year-old Doyle Nelson, who faces lesser charges in connection with the case, was the one wearing a dark hoodie. The footage only shows the moments leading up to the shooting, not the altercation itself.

The witness told police she also recognized Nelson, but that he wasn’t the shooter. Jurors were shown photos and videos from Marks’ phone showing him posing and dancing with a black handgun the day of the shooting.

They were also shown photos from Nelson’s phone showing several different juveniles, including Marks, with a similar handgun. Police could not confirm it was the same firearm in all cases.

No gun was recovered from the shooting.

The jury deliberated for about 2 hours before reaching a verdict. Marks did not testify in the trial.

He's set for sentencing Nov. 13. 

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Dana Vollmer is a reporter with WGLT. Dana previously covered the state Capitol for NPR Illinois and Peoria for WCBU.