Two mothers got a measure of justice this week when the man responsible for the death of their children was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder.
The convicted gunman, Kennell Spady, had already been sentenced to life in a previous killing. That case involved the high-profile murder of Faheem Thomas-Childs, 10, who was shot to death in an exchange of gunfire in February 2004 while on his way to T.M. Pierce Elementary School.
Spady, 24, of North Philadelphia, was sentenced Tuesday by Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper in the murder of Makil Edwards, 19, who had been described as a friend of Spady's.
Spady had gotten into an argument with Edwards over who was tougher, who ran the neighborhood, and who had the attentions of a certain woman when shooting erupted in a van Aug. 3, 2003, and Edwards was killed.
Spady was one of two convicted in the first-degree murder of Faheem, a third grader walking to school who was killed when a gun battle broke out between rival drug gangs.
Spady's codefendant, Kareem Johnson, was also sentenced to life for that killing; Johnson was later sentenced to death for the 2002 murder of Walter Smith, 39. That shooting took place outside a North Philadelphia bar.
Spady and Johnson were two of 10 suspects arrested not long after Faheem's murder as part of a sweep by a police task force. The 10 were involved in "a great number" of homicides in that neighborhood, Assistant District Attorney Michael Barry said yesterday. Barry, who prosecuted the case involving Edwards, said that seven of the 10 had been convicted of crimes.