Kenneth Lee Johnson sentenced in Anthony Titus's murder

Categories: Homicide Files

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Anthony Titus was 16 years old when he was gunned down in an alley near Fremont Avenue N. last Fourth of July, the city's 26th homicide of the year.

Minneapolis police say he and his friends were "mean mugged" by some gang-bangers in an SUV because one of the guys hanging out with Titus was thought to have been in a rival gang.

Titus and his friends ignored one round of verbal abuse from the SUV, but the driver circled back, and two passengers got out and ran up to Titus and his friends with guns drawn.

"What's up now, li'll niggers," one of them shouted. Shots rang out. Titus died on the spot of a single gunshot wound.

They'd meant to hit a gang member nicknamed "Ray Ray." Titus, nicknamed "Phat Phat" and "Prince Charming," was not a gang member.

What's up now is that 21-year-old Ryan Eugene Loyd and 17-year-old Kenneth Johnson have both been sentenced to decades behind bars for taking down Titus that night.

Johnson pleaded guilty and was sentenced today to 34 years in prison. Loyd pleaded guilty in January and was sentenced to 39 years.

Princess Titus, Anthony's mother, told the judge at sentencing today that she took no pleasure in seeing the punishment carried out, and was stunned by how Loyd and Johnson had wiped out her years of trying to raise her boy right.

"I don't benefit from him going to prison," the 16-year-old victim's mother said afterward, her face streaked with tears. "I lose, they lose, we as a people lose. I put so much effort into raising my kids, I took it seriously, and I lost everything. I'm not the first mother, and I won't be the last."

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