Jury convicts man of 1st-degree murder in 2014 Feltonville porch shooting

Posted: September 23, 2016

A Philadelphia jury on Wednesday convicted a 22-year-old man of first-degree murder and related offenses in a July 2014 ambush shooting on a Feltonville porch in which one man was killed and four other people were injured.

The panel of seven women and five men is expected to begin deliberations Thursday on whether to sentence Siddiq Shelton of Olney to life in prison or death in the slaying of Elisha Bull, 20.

The jury also convicted Shelton of attempted murder and weapons and related offenses in connection with the people on the porch who were injured.

When the verdicts were read, Shelton showed no reaction. Several of his supporters cried.

Prosecutors contended that Michel Benjamin, a young man with whom Shelton had a prior beef, was the intended target, not Bull.

It was about 12:20 a.m. July 28, 2014, when Shelton and another man - who has not been identified - walked up to a porch on North Front Street near Roosevelt Boulevard and began firing.

Bull, of Oxford Circle, died after being hit in his head and chest. Benjamin and three females were wounded.

After the guilty verdicts Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors offered Shelton a deal in which they would take the death penalty off the table in exchange for his giving up certain appellate rights. Shelton initially agreed to take the deal, but at the last minute, he told one of his attorneys that he didn't want it.

"My client wants to have a penalty phase," attorney David Rudenstein told Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn Bronson at 4 p.m.

At that point, the jury was brought back in and attorneys presented opening statements in the penalty-phase hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Carlos Vega, arguing for death, told jurors Shelton created a grave risk by shooting onto the porch that night, risking killing another person.

Rudenstein, in a loud voice, told jurors the defense has plenty of mitigating factors to present in addition to Shelton's young age - he was 20 at the time of the homicide.

The defense will present witnesses Thursday.

Prosecutors presented one witness Wednesday. Christine Bull, Elisha's mother, told jurors her son was the second eldest of her five boys.

"My family's world was turned upside down," she said, "but out of this, I have to forgive. It will be hard, but that's the only way I will move on."

shawj@phillynews.com

215-854-2592 @julieshawphilly

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