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updated: 8/23/2013 6:52 AM

3 northern Indiana teens convicted in accomplice's death

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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.

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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