U.S. Attorney, FBI talk about gang indictments
The 2014 double murder of a couple at the front door of their Lake Wylie home has resulted in six members of the United Blood Nation gang, also known as UBN or Bloods, being sentenced to prison terms ranging from 13 years to life.
The charges are related to the killings of Douglas and Deborah London of Lake Wylie, as well as the 2013 murder of Kwamne Clyburn. The charges included conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity, according to a statement from Andrew Murray, U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
At least a dozen members of the Charlotte cell of United Blood Nation were connected with the killings, prosecutors said. They were ordered and carried out to keep Doug London from testifying against the three Bloods who tried to rob the Londons' mattress store, they said.
The crime shattered the notion that gang violence in Charlotte was confined to urban neighborhoods. To many, the city and its bedroom communities suddenly felt a lot less safe. Evidence introduced at the trials showed Doug London was found lying face down just inside the front door of his home, with his right arm draped around the waist of his dead wife. Both appear to have been shot at close range.
U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. presided over the sentencing hearings.
▪ Rahkeem Lee McDonald, 25, of Charlotte, was ordered to serve life in prison, following his guilty plea to racketeering conspiracy and murder.
▪ David Lee Fudge, 24, of Pineville, was ordered to serve 26 years in prison and five years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and murder for the Londons’ murder, and Hobbs Act robbery for his role in the robbery of the Pineville-area mattress store.
Other gang members sentenced included:
▪ Ibn Rashaan Kornegay, 38, of Greenville, 23 years in prison and five years of supervised release.
▪ Nehemijel Maurice Houston, 23, of Charlotte, 20 years in prison and five years of supervised release.
▪ Daquan Lamar Everrett, 23, of Charlotte, 13 years in prison and five years of supervised release
▪ Centrilla Shardon Leach, 33, of Charlotte, 13 years in prison and five years of supervised release.
Each defendant pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy.
Judge Cogburn previously sentenced Jamell Lamon Cureton and Malcolm Jarrel Hartley to life in prison in connection with the murders. Cureton received a second life sentenced for the unrelated murder of Kwamne Clyburn in 2013.
Four more defendants who were previously convicted at trial or have pleaded guilty in connection with the case are currently awaiting sentencing. Randall Hankins, II, Nana Yaw Adoma, Akheem Tahja McDonald and Briana Shakeyah Johnson were convicted of racketeering conspiracy charges in October 2017.
Court documents show that the defendants operated according to a common set of Bloods’ rules and participated regularly in gang meetings to discuss, among other things, the commission of crimes, including robbery and murder.
On May 25, 2014, Cureton, Adoma and Fudge robbed The Mattress Warehouse in Pineville. In the months that followed, Cureton, a high-ranking “5-Star General” within the gang, communicated with Hartley and other members, including the defendants sentenced Monday, to plan the murders of the Londons, according to the statement from the U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Cureton and other gang members discussed that Douglas London was the only eyewitness who could identify Cureton and therefore needed to be eliminated. The gang’s leadership authorized Hartley to proceed with the murder and on Oct. 23, 2014, Johnson drove Hartley to South Carolina, where Hartley shot and killed the couple at their home.
Following the couple’s murder, Cureton explained in a letter sent from prison that he ordered the murder of Doug London because he was going to testify against him in court, and described Deborah London as “collateral damage,” the release states. After the murders Hartley was promoted to a “2-Star General” for carrying out the leadership’s orders.
Cureton ordered the gang to remain silent about the murders and told Hartley that from that point forward the topic of the victims’ murders was not to be discussed, authorizing action against anyone who talked about it. Kornegay also conducted a telephone gang meeting with other UBN gang members during which he directed them to lay low to avoid contact with law enforcement. Johnson, Hankins, Adoma, and Akheem McDonald are currently in federal custody, according to the news release.
The maximum penalty associated with the charges of which they are convicted is life in prison.