UPDATED: Teens Found Guilty in Killing of Cab Driver

February 28, 2014 Updated Feb 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

February 28, 2014 Updated Feb 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) A State Supreme Court jury has found Sean Austin and Maurice Howie guilty of 2nd degree murder for the shooting death of 55-year old Mazen Abdallah on March 6, 2013.

Prosecutors say the teens called for a ride from the Perry Projects in Buffalo and then shot the Airport Taxi Service driver in order to steal his cellphone and wallet.

Both teenagers were 16-years old at the time of the shooting.

Investigators say Abdallah was shot twice in the head at close range by a 22-caliber gun.

The trial lasted for nearly three weeks and heard testimony from over 60 witnesses.

Prosecutors showed the jury security camera video, blood evidence, and DNA that assistant district attorneys, Chris Belling and Paul Parisi, said linked the teenagers to the crime.

Austin and Howie were also convicted on a number of charges related to a string of robberies that targeted taxi drivers and delivery people staring in December 2012.

District Attorney Frank Sedita said a total of 5 people, including Austin and Howie, were involved in various ways in 6 separate robberies that started out using unloaded guns and increased in violence to the point where Abdallah was murdered

The jury found Sean Austin guilty on ten counts related to the murder and robberies.

Maurice Howie was found guilty on four counts related to the killing and robbery spree.

A third suspect, Devante Wells, has pleaded guilty to one of the robberies.

Two additional suspects, Dequan Bailey and Rokym Knox (brother to Sean Austin), will be prosecuted for the crimes in April

The cab driver murder case received a lot of local attention because Maurice Howie was the star quarterback for South Park High School in Buffalo.

Howie and Austin will be sentenced on May 14th at 9:30am with Austin facing a possible consecutive jail term of 100 years to life, and Howie looking at a consecutive sentence of 50 years to life.

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