A Chicago teen who allegedly took part in a vicious game known as "Pick 'Em Out and Knock 'Em Out" was found guilty Monday of murder and robbery charges in connection with the killing of a father of 12.
After a bench trial, Cook County Circuit Judge Joseph Claps convicted Anthony Malcolm, 19, saying he videotaped the attack on Delfino Mora, who was collecting cans in a West Rogers Park alley last July.
One of the teens, Malik Jones, now 17, announced, "I think I'm gonna knock out this (expletive)," and then started the video recorder on his cellphone. The phone ended up in Malcolm's hands, prosecutors said, before Jones punched Mora once in the jaw. Mora fell and struck his head on concrete.
Jones then removed $60 from Mora's wallet, prosecutors allege.
Mora, 62, was unconscious for about three hours before a passer-by found him. He died the next day of blunt trauma. A video of the attack was posted on Facebook, where it was shared by others until it was seen by a co-worker of the victim's son.
"It is a sad travesty that Mr. Delfino Mora died because of the actions of people … who were apparently thinking what they were doing was a game," Claps said.
He said that while Malcolm's "mere presence" at the attack did not make him guilty, his knowledge that an attack was planned, the fact that he did nothing to stop it and his failure to contact authorities made him an accessory to the murder.
Jones and one other defendant — Nicholas Ayala, 18 — are still awaiting trial.
"It feels like it was still yesterday — the pain is still there," Emmanuel Mora, 21, one of Mora's six children who were present in court, said after the verdict. "But like I said, we've got to keep on going.
"We feel a little bit of peace in our heart because the judge made the right decision, but on the other side we still feel a little bit down because with this decision it's not going to bring our father back," he said.
Malcolm faces a minimum of 20 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for July 26.