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Man gets 15 years in semi-pro football player’s murder

Updated: April 14, 2012 12:41AM

One of three men accused of murdering a semi-pro football player pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Devonte Lamb pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokesman Andrew Conklin.

Lamb and Desmone Smart were accused of being lookouts in the August 2011 shooting death of Lawrence Wilson in the 1500 block of West Jonquil Terrace. Lamb was 17 and Smart 15 when they were arrested. Both were charged as adults.

Wilson, 23, was on his bicycle headed to his girlfriend’s house to watch a movie when he was shot in the chest in Rogers Park, his mother Jennifer Francis said.

Authorities called the slaying “gang-related.” Cook County prosecutors said Dyshawn Brown was handed a sawed off shotgun and offered money to kill a Gangster Disciple.

Wilson had initially spoken with Brown and Smart when the pair struck up a conversation with him before walking away Sunday morning, Assistant State’s Attorney Jamie Santini said. Brown and Smart eventually met up with Lamb and it was Lamb who waved Wilson over to a building where Brown shot him, Santini said.

Wilson often mentored high-risk teens, hoping tales of his brief dalliance with crime would keep others out of trouble. And when he wasn’t inspiring youth, he’d be at church, rapping or playing running back or safety for the Chi-Town Blaze semi-pro football team, family and friends said.

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