Crime & Courts

Warrant: Gang member accused of murder tracked local reporter

Prosecutors say Jamell Cureton, the alleged mastermind of the killings of Doug and Debbie London, also kept a file on a reporter who covered the investigation in the slayings.
Prosecutors say Jamell Cureton, the alleged mastermind of the killings of Doug and Debbie London, also kept a file on a reporter who covered the investigation in the slayings. dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

A gang member accused of orchestrating the killings of a Lake Wylie, S.C., couple last year also had a file on a reporter who had been covering the case, according to search warrants.

According to the search warrant, obtained by the Observer’s news partner, WBTV: “(An) inmate told investigators that (Jamell) Cureton has shared a ‘file’ on a news reporter who keeps talking about the homicide case, with specific details about the reporter to include that he is a ‘skinny white boy’ and that he ‘chain smokes,’ has ‘slick back hair,’ and drives a ‘burgundy car.’”

The file was uncovered during a search of Cureton’s jail cell. He is accused of plotting the October killings of Doug and Debbie London from jail via phone calls and letters. Federal prosecutors have said members of the United Blood Nation killed the Londons to stop them from testifying about a robbery at the couple’s mattress store in May.

Search warrants don’t identify the reporter. And they don’t say that any specific threats were leveled against him.

The warrant says Cureton was able to identify the reporter’s appearance without any photographs of the reporter being available on the Internet, according to WBTV.

A spokeswoman for the FBI told WBTV that agents were able to identify the reporter targeted in the file.

“There was no specific threat, but out of an abundance of caution, the FBI took additional measures and contacted the person we believed they were describing to make him aware the group we were investigating was aware of his reporting,” the spokeswoman said.

Cureton faces almost a dozen federal charges; six carry the death penalty. A federal indictment charges him and five other UBN members with the Londons’ killings.

Wootson: 704-358-5046;

Twitter: @CleveWootson

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