Cuyahoga County

Cleveland Gang Member Gets Life Sentence in Teen Girl's Excution

11/30/2017

A gang member convicted of executing a 17-year-old girl to cover up his involvement in a bank robbery was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with his first chance at parole after 49 years.

Kiechaun Newell, 20, lured Breanna Fluitt out of her East Cleveland home where she was painting her nails with her mother, took her to a dark and sketchy street and planted bullets in her back after photographs of Fluitt robbing a bank were released in the media in August 2016.

Newell and his co-defendant, Jeffrey Doss, who prosecutors say are members of the Black Disciples street gang, recruited Fluitt to rob the bank and became nervous she would identify them to police and decided to remove her as a witness, prosecutors said during trial.

Doss has pleaded not guilty to the same charges and is being prosecuted separately.

"You snuffed out her life when it was convenient for you," Common Pleas Judge Sherrie Miday said while handing down her sentence Thursday. "You knew exactly what you were doing."

A jury convicted Newell of more than a dozen charges including aggravated murder in her death.

Newell apologized to Fluitt's family for her death and said that he accepted the jury's verdict, but also maintained his innocence and plans to appeal his conviction.

"I really didn't do this, and I hope one day to be able to prove that," Newell said.

Newell, who prosecutors said had a previous relationship with Fluitt, wore rubber gloves when he picked her up from her home. Newell hugged Fluitt's 1-year-old brother before he escorted Fluitt into an SUV where three teenagers were waiting.

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