Man convicted of 2013 birthday party murder

Jamal Bennett. (Sept. 11, 2014 photo courtesy the Michigan Department of Corrections.)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The person who shot and killed a man at a birthday party in Grand Rapids more than two years ago has been convicted.

Thursday, a jury found Jamal Bennett guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Derecko Martin.

Martin, 30, was shot at a home in Grand Rapids not long after midnight on March 16, 2013. Family members said they were having a birthday party when uninvited guests showed up. There was an argument and Bennett, who was 18 at the time, pulled a gun.

Family members told 24 Hour News 8 at the time that Martin wrestled with Bennett, likely saving lives. He was shot three times in the head and chest and died later at the hospital.

Martin’s brother was also shot, but survived.

Bennett, now 20, wasn’t formally charged with murder until December 2014, but he was already behind bars by that point after being convicted of perjury in the case.

He’s already serving a sentence of up to 20 years in prison for perjury. Sentencing for the murder is scheduled for June 11.

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