Young men found guilty of first-degree murder for house party shooting that killed 2
Published Friday, November 16, 2012 12:30PM CST
Last Updated Sunday, November 24, 2013 6:58PM CST
Two young men have been convicted of first-degree murder for a 38-second-long shooting rampage that left two teens dead and one injured at a house party three years ago.
Matthew Reynolds and Tyler (T.J.) Hawula, both 18, were killed when suspects burst into an Elmwood home in December of 2009 with a shotgun.
The two found guilty Friday were 16 and 17 years old at the time of the shooting.
Court heard Hawula was hosting a party and there were strict rules, including no weapons allowed and everyone expected to be respectful.
Court heard one of the accused was kicked out of the party and returned with three others, including his 16-year-old accomplice who brandished a shotgun.
The 16-year-old gang member burst into the house and shot and killed Hawula and Reynolds and injured another teen, while the other accused stood nearby.
“When the cops came to my house to tell me they were murdered, I didn’t believe them,” said Debbie Reynolds, Matthew’s mother.
She said she was pleased with the conviction. Relatives said hearing the verdict was a bitter-sweet moment.
“It’s hard but right now I’m really excited to hear that,” said Anita Reynolds, Matthew’s sister.
The defence argued the murders were not planned, asking the court to convict on lesser charges, but the judge called the shootings deliberate and for the purpose of revenge.
Two more hearings are scheduled for May as the Crown is seeking adult sentences for both offenders.
The two were also convicted of attempted murder for injuring the third teen at the party.
Police and emergency crews respond to the shooting in the 400 block of Martin Avenue West in Elmwood in December 2009. Two men were killed and a third wounded.
Matthew Reynolds (left) and Tyler (T.J.) Hawula died from the shooting in December 2009.