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Man who was charged as a teen found not guilty of 2012 murder

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A man has been found not guilty of participating in the fatal beating of a man in Chicago in December 2012, a crime that happened when he was a teenager.

William Davis was 16 when he was arrested and charged with the death of Anton Baker on Dec. 12, 2012, according to the law offices of Emmanuel Andrew and Anthony W. Hill, which served as counsel for Davis.

In a jury trial that started Sept. 8 and ended Friday, he was found not guilty of first-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, according to the statement and court records.

Davis was present when another teenager, 15-year-old Derrick Burns, beat Baker and caused his death, according to the attorneys. Burns argued, then fought with Baker over a cigarette while Davis sat on a couch nearby.

Prosecutors alleged that Davis later joined the fight and kicked Baker, and that Burns hit Baker in the head with a stereo speaker.

Davis argued he was present for the fight between Burns and Baker, but did not participate.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office testified that while the fight may have contributed to Baker’s death, the ultimate cause was an acute asthma attack, according to the statement. None of the injuries suffered in the fight were fatal; and Baker also had a lethal dose of heroin in his system.

Baker had a history of repeated emergency medical treatment for heroin-induced asthma attacks leading up to his death, according to the attorneys.

Burns was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and is next scheduled to appear in court Oct. 8 for post-trial motions and possible sentencing.

“Mr. Davis looks forward to putting this case behind him, completing his education, and joining the work force,” his lawyers said.