Durham rapper Antonio 'Lil Tony' Davenport sentenced to life in killing of 9-year-old Z'yon Person

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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Durham rapper sentenced to life in murder of 9-year-old Z'yon Person
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Durham rapper Antonio 'Lil Tony' Davenport sentenced to life in prison for the killing of 9-year-old Z'yon Person

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- It has been a little over three years since the death of a 9-year-old Durham boy who's life was cut short by a bullet. Prosecutors say Z'yon Person died after being shot while inside a car with his aunt. They were on their way to get snow cones. The shooting happened in Durham in August 2019.

The convicted shooter is Durham rapper Antonio 'Lil Tony' Davenport. Davenport was convicted in July 2022. He was found guilty on three charges of federal murder, gun and racketeering charges according to our newsgathering partners at the News and Observer.

Tuesday, he faced a judge for sentencing and received life in prison for Z'yon's murder. He received an additional 10 years for federal gun charges, according to the News & Observer.

Derrick Lamont Dixon who was charged and convicted of murder in the case, also received a life sentence Tuesday.

What happened to Z'yon?

Police said Z'yon was in a car with his aunt, Danyell Ragland, his sister and his cousins on the way to Pelican's to get snow cones when he was shot.

Initially, it was thought someone in the car was targeted. Prosecutors say now it was a case of mistaken identity.

"To watch Z'yon's family watch the evidence and try and muddle through the day: it's heartbreaking," said Virginia Bridges, the criminal justice reporter for the News and Observer. "It was just some really hard stories to hear in court."

Bridges said prosecutors on Tuesday heard testimony from Z'yon's aunt, who said Zyon was hanging out of the back of the window talking to friends in another car.

The aunt told Z'yon to get back inside but heard gunfire at the same time.

In his June trial. prosecutors said Antonio Davenport was the one who pulled the trigger. Davenport said he was in the area but blames the other two people in the car.

The beef between two gangs allegedly started days prior at the Streets at Southpoint where Davenport had gotten his chain stolen.

"They were out this night looking for revenge," Bridges said. "They thought these rival gang members were in Danyell Ragland's green Ford Explorer."

Davenport was a budding rap star named Lil Tony and had just signed on to tour with the group 83 Babies when the shooting happened.

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