TWO MEN have been jailed after a Birmingham teenager was shot dead following a dispute over a £50 bag of cannabis.
Connor Smith was shot dead in the Hawkesley area on October 8 last year after Leon Frye and Philip Baillie clashed with Smith and his friends in an alleyway near Baillie’s home.
On Tuesday (May 10) Frye, of Rodney Close, was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder – serving a minimum of 30 years.
He was also jailed for seven years for two counts of possession of a firearm and robbery to run concurrent.
Baillie was sentenced to 20 years for manslaughter and seven years for two charges of possession of a firearm and robbery, also to run concurrently.
Connor was involved in a series of escalating confrontations between his friends and Frye, 27, and Baillie, 28, after a bag of drugs was stolen from him at gunpoint by the two offenders hours before the shooting.
The two groups faced off in an alley close to Baillie’s home – where Frye shot Connor twice, leaving him to die at the scene.
A post-mortem examination found that he suffered one gunshot wound to his left arm and a second to the left side of his chest.
Frye and Baillie were arrested from the address of an associate close to Coventry in the days following the murder.
A third man, Marcus Jones, aged 27, of Gildas Avenue, was found not guilty of all charges.
Detective Inspector Warren Hines said: “It is such a waste that Connor has lost his life over such a trivial dispute between the two groups.
“This case demonstrates how incredibly dangerous it is to carry a gun on our streets – guns are designed to kill and they usually do.
“There is no place in society for those who choose to arm themselves with firearms.
“As a result of this incident a young man has lost his life and two others are now facing a considerable spell behind bars.
“Connor was just a teenager with his whole life ahead of him and that has been cruelly taken away, my thoughts are with his family and friends.”