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Iowa man sentenced to life for murder described as revenge

June 26, 2021 GMT

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A judge has sentenced a Waterloo man to life behind bars for first-degree murder in what prosecutors described as the revenge killing of another man.

Judge Linda Fangman ordered Raymond Birden Jr., 22, to life in prison and $150,000 restitution for what prosecutors described as a revenge killing, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported.

Birden declined to comment in court, the newspaper reported.

A jury last month found Birden guilty in the 2018 death of 22-year-old Shavondes Martin, who was acquitted earlier that year of killing Birden’s brother in 2016.

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Martin had been one of three people charged with the 2016 drive-by shooting of Birden’s brother, Otavious Brown. While Martin was acquitted, Doncorrion Spates was found guilty of murder and other counts in Brown’s death.

Prosecutors said Birden and Martin had been exchanging taunts online following Martin’s acquittal and that Birden enlisted the help of an ex-girlfriend who was also Martin’s cousin to find Martin on May 31, 2018. Martin was found dead hours later in a Waterloo alley. He had been shot a total of nine times with two guns.

The cousin, Danaesha Martin, also was arrested for her role in the killing and entered a plea agreement to lesser charges.