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Article updated: 8/23/2013 6:52 AM

3 northern Indiana teens convicted in accomplice's death

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By Associated Press

GOSHEN, Ind. -- A jury has convicted three northern Indiana teenagers on murder charges stemming from their home invasion accomplice being fatally shot by a homeowner.

The Elkhart County jury deliberated more than five hours before reaching the guilty verdicts late Thursday.

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The Elkhart Truth reports many in the packed courtroom sobbed as the verdicts were announced against 17-year-old Blake Layman, 18-year-old Levi Sparks and 19-year-old Anthony Sharp Jr.

They faced felony murder charges because they were involved in a crime during which 21-year-old Danzele Johnson died in October in Elkhart.

Defense attorneys pointed to the teens' ages and maintained they didn't expect to break into a home that was occupied.

Their sentencing hearing is set for Sept. 12.

A fourth teen pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

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