PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Justice was finally served in a case of mistaken identity. Police never gave up, and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office said Monday that four men are now convicted murderers, more than 10 years after it happened.
The victim’s emotional widow and her family had worn buttons for a decade showing a photo of their loved one who had been killed. On Monday, the family said they no longer need to wear them.READ MORE: Enhanced Risk For Severe Weather Across Philadelphia Region Monday Afternoon
“These buttons are not new. These buttons are 10 years old,” Keyna Drinks said. “They say, ‘Justice for Kevin.’ Family, take the buttons off. Justice is done. Justice is served. We don’t need those buttons anymore.”
Keyna Drinks says her family can finally have some closure now, more than a decade since her husband, 50-year-old Kevin Drinks, was shot and killed by North Broad Street and Girard Avenue in 2011.
Eyewitness News was at a call for justice in 2012 when Kevin Drinks’ widow announced a reward for her husband’s killer.
Police eventually connected these four now-convicted suspects to the shooting. The men are Chad Rannels, Michael Blackston, Semaj Armstead and Rashawn Combs.
Officers say the four wrongly identified Drinks as a witness in a previous murder before Drinks was gunned down.READ MORE: All Eyes On Pennsylvania Primary As Tuesday's Election Day Approaches
“He was just minding his business, going to work,” Ruby Jones, Kevin Drinks’ sister, said. “But once we did get a look at the picture of who the guys wanted, he did look exactly like my brother.”
Police arrested Rannels in connection to the initial murder.
Investigators then tracked down the other suspects after they listened to the phone recordings of Rannels while he was in custody.
“They were discussing over and over again a description of the witness, where he works, what kind of car he drives,” Assistant District Attorney Ashley Toczylowski said.
Rannels, as well as Blackston and Armstead, have all been convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole.
Combs was convicted of third-degree murder. He’s scheduled for sentencing in June.MORE NEWS: Police: 14-Year-Old Boy Shot In Leg In Philadelphia's Haddington Neighborhood
“We know what the bible says. We know we have to forgive them,” Keyna Drinks said. “But we’re working on it, we’re working on it, and we’ll never forget it.”