2 men planned revenge killing via text, talked about it on social media: prosecutors

Jaylyn Griffith, left, and Tayjon Lane (Chicago Police Department)

CHICAGO — Two Chicago men have been jailed to await trial on murder and conspiracy charges after prosecutors said they planned a revenge killing via text message and then talked about the murder on social media. Investigators recovered the text messages and online posts to use as evidence.

Tayjon Lane, 19, and Jaylyn Griffith, 20, killed 16-year-old Keshawn Rhodes on November 10 as revenge for a previous murder, prosecutors said Sunday. Officials said Rhodes had been in hiding, but Lane, Griffith, and unnamed co-conspirators hatched a plan to lure him into a trap.

“This was a planned, coordinated, and premeditated murder,” Judge Ankur Srivastava found as he detained both men at the state’s request.

Using text messages, the men outlined detailed plans about how to reel Rhodes to the 5000 block of West Madison, how many times to shoot him, and where to go after the murder, according to allegations in court filings.

Lane was the gunman who shot Rhodes in the back of the head, but Griffith and others participated in the scheme, officials said.

In addition to the social media posts and text records, phone location data placed both men at key locations before, during, and after the murder, according to their arrest reports.

Lane was arrested for a felony gun case one month after the murder, and he received “first-time weapon offender probation” in April. Griffith was on probation at the time of the murder for a felony gun case and possession of a stolen motor vehicle, according to court records.

They are both charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com