Man pleads guilty to killing French street artist in Detroit

(REUTERS) - One of three men accused of killing a 23-year-old French street artist in Detroit has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in an agreement that calls for a sentence of up to 40 years in prison, prosecutors said on Friday.

Jasin Curtis, 18, of Detroit, will be sentenced on June 12 before Judge Bruce Morrow in Wayne County Circuit Court, prosecutors said. The sentence is to be served consecutive to a two-year term for a firearms count, prosecutors said.

Curtis and two other men were charged with murder, armed robbery and firearms violations in the shooting death of artist Bilal Berreni, who was found dead in July 2013 in a vacant high-rise building near downtown Detroit.

Police have said the three men were losing money in a dice game when they decided to rob someone and found Mr Berreni, a Paris native who was known by the street moniker "Zoo Project." Mr Berreni had been painting murals since age 15. Before going to Detroit, Mr Berreni traveled to Tunisia to paint murals about the unrest there following the Arab Spring.

The trials of Drequone Rich, 20, and Dionte Travis, 19, have been consolidated and will begin in September.

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