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Zaevion Dobson murder trial: Bassett guilty of murder, Kipling and Colbert guilty of facilitation

Police say the Knoxville teen was shot and killed while shielding his friends from gang-related gunfire.

Stephanie Haines, Lauren Hoar, Melissa Erickson

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Published: 12/14/2017 4:14:39 PM
Updated: 4:14 PM EST December 14, 2017

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Three men stand charged with murder in the shooting death of a Knoxville teenager in December 2015. Police have said 15-year-old Zaevion Dobson was shielding his friends from gunfire in the Lonsdale neighborhood when he was fatally shot on the night of Dec. 17, 2015.

Since his death, Dobson has been recognized by President Barack Obama, and ESPN posthumously gave Dobson the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2016 ESPY Awards. ESPN also made a 30 for 30 film called "#24Strong - the story of Zaevion Dobson" that aired in September.

Zaevion Dobson, Fulton High School

Christopher Bassett, 22, Richard Williams, 23, and Kipling Colbert Jr., 22, each face a first-degree murder charge along with other charges in Knox County Court related to Dobson's death.

Investigators say Basset admitted to shooting into a crowd on the night of Dec. 17, 2015. He and Williams were arrested in an April 2016 traffic stop. They were indicted on first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and firearm possession charges in August 2016.

Colbert was arrested in April 2016 on an unrelated charge, and was indicted on the first-degree murder charge in June 2017.

Defense attorneys asked for the trial to be moved out of Knoxville or for jurors to be brought in from out of town. They argued there was so much publicity about the case that the defendants would not get a fair trial in Knox County, but Judge Steven Sword ruled the case would proceed in Knoxville with a Knox County jury.

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