2 guilty of killing Iowa teens for video games, phones

Apr 26, 2022, 7:56 AM | Updated: 8:00 am

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A jury has convicted two men of murder for shooting three Iowa teenagers at point-blank range while stealing their video game console and cellphones.

Daishawn Gills, 23, was found guilty Monday of three counts of first-degree murder and a robbery charge, while Emmanuel Totaye Jr., 21, was found guilty of three counts of second-degree murder and robbery, the Des Moines Register reported.

A third man, 18-year-old Leontreal Jones, is expected to plead guilty Thursday to two robbery charges in a deal with prosecutors in which he testified against Gills and Totaye, saying they carried out the January 2020 shooting deaths of 19-year-old DeVonte Swanks and his brother, 16-year-old Malachi Swanks, as well as the brothers’ friend, 15-year-old Thayne Wright.

Police investigators have said the three defendants and the three victims had all been hanging out at the Swanks’ home in Des Moines when Totaye and Gills argued with Malachi Swanks over a loan he had not repaid. Prosecutors said Gills and Totaye then robbed the teens and killed them to prevent them from reporting it.

Police said the teenage victims were all shot point-blank inside a walk-in closet in the home.

Gills and Totaye will be sentenced at a later date. Gills will face a mandatory life sentence for each first-degree murder charge, while Totaye faces up to 50 years for each second-degree murder count. The robbery charge carries up to 25 years in prison.

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2 guilty of killing Iowa teens for video games, phones