Two drug dealers have been found guilty of murdering innocent Girl Scout Jodie Chesney.
The popular student had been socialising with friends in a park when she was stabbed in the back on the evening of March 1. In a case of mistaken identity, Jodie, 17, became a victim of “casual violence” in the drug-dealing world, jurors heard. Although the motive was unclear, the court was told how the defendants had been involved in numerous violent clashes as they fought to protect their turf.
Each had denied being involved in Jodie’s death, with two blaming each other for the stabbing.
An Old Bailey jury deliberated for nearly six hours to find Svenson Ong-a-Kwie, 19, and a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named guilty of murder.
Their co-defendants Manual Petrovic, 20, and a 16-year-old boy were cleared of murder.
Afterwards, Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams, of Scotland Yard, said Jodie’s murder was a tragedy which shocked the nation.
He added: “It could have been anybody’s daughter. She was a very nice girl, she had a small circle of friends, she did well at school, worked in the community, she was in the Scouts.
“She had been up to Downing Street. She was the girl next door.
“She was just an ordinary girl and that’s the tragedy.
“She was an ordinary girl going about her ordinary business and has fallen foul of these people.
“They have gone there purposefully to stab somebody and they have not cared who they stabbed.
“They stabbed a 17-year-old girl in the back for no reason.”
Giving evidence, Jodie’s boyfriend Eddie Coyle, 18, told how she collapsed in his arms in front of their horrified friends.
He said he thought the taller of the two assailants – said to be 6ft 2in Ong-a-Kwie – was about to punch Jodie when he “swung his arm out” and stabbed her.
Mr Coyle said: “She was in shock at first. She started screaming continuously, very loud, about two minutes straight. After she stopped screaming she began to faint.”
Jodie died before she arrived at the hospital from an 18cm deep stab wound to the back which almost passed right through her body.
The two killers will be sentenced on November 18.