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Teens Sentenced in Alabama Slaying

September 28, 2002

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) _ Two teenagers were sentenced Friday to more than 20 years in prison for the random slaying of the grandson of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.

Antwan Howard, 17, and Brent Jackson, 16, were among a dozen youths _ some as young as 10 _ who allegedly beat Jackson Beasley to death last year with bricks and bats.

Howard, who pleaded guilty to murder, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Jackson, convicted of manslaughter, was given 20 years.

Beasley, 53, was walking home from work July 30, 2001, when he was attacked by members of a gang called the South Jackson Street Thugs. After a gang leader yelled the code word ``Slaughterhouse,″ the youths chased Beasley down and beat him to death, authorities said.

Saying many witnesses had been intimidated into silence, authorities prosecuted only three of the youths, and only Howard and Jackson as adults.

Jackson was convicted on the lesser manslaughter charge Thursday; the jury’s verdict dismayed the victim’s family and others.

``If there is a gang of people doing these things, this is not going to stop them,″ civil rights activist Johnnie Carr said.

Carr and Parks were childhood friends who took part in the historic Montgomery bus boycott in 1955. The boycott began after Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man.

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