Former Gang Member Admits He Was Involved In Planning Homicides With Crips
Parties agree to sentence of 30 years without parole
WICHITA, KAN. – A former gang member pleaded guilty today and admitted he was involved in planning homicides while he was a member of a Wichita street gang called the Neighborhood Crips, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Jason Tisdale, 31, Wichita, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in racketeering and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering. In his plea, Tisdale admitted that from 1997 to 2007 he was a member of the Neighborhood Crips. He conspired with other members of the gang in an effort to preserve, protect and expand the power of the gang, which was involved in drug trafficking.
Tisdale admitted he had a role in planning two homicides committed by members of the Crips.
The first was the Feb. 3, 1998, shooting deaths of Tisha Jones and Keith James. At the time of the killings, Tisha Jones was under pressure from the Crips. The gang did not want her to testify that she had witnessed a member of the Crips commit a residential robbery on Nov. 16, 1997, at 1202 N. Mathewson in Wichita. While in jail awaiting trial on the robbery charge, the Crip contacted several people in an attempt to find someone who would keep Jones from testifying against him. Tisdale was one of the Crips who discussed among themselves ways to get rid of the witness. Ultimately, Tisdale stole a car for a team of Crips to use in a plan to kill Jones. On the night of the murders, Tisdale and two other members of the gang drove to Jones’ residence. Tisdale remained in the car while the others went inside. After the killings, Tisdale drove the gang members away from the scene. Officers found Tisha Jones and Keith James, her boyfriend, lying in the corner of a bedroom shot to death. An infant child in a crib in the same room was not harmed.
The second homicide was the Aug. 5, 2004, shooting death of Umanah Smith at 2531 N. Minnesota in Wichita. On the evening of Aug. 4, 2004, Smith and a rap group called “Family Tyze” were scheduled to appear at the Jungle Club in Wichita. Before the performance began, a fight broke out between the Crips and the Lincoln Park Bloods. Police were called and the club was closed for the night.
Several members of the Bloods wound up at Smith’s house where they had a party. When the party died down most of the visitors went home, leaving Smith and two other people in the house. Meanwhile, Tisdale and other Crips had armed themselves and planned their retaliation. About 3 a.m. Aug. 5, Tisdale and the other Crips went to Smith’s house. While they were on the front porch, one of the Crips accidentally discharged his handgun, striking Tisdale in the right foot. The other Crips entered the house and killed Smith. When the Crips left the scene of the shooting, Tisdale was placed in one of the cars and driven to his sister’s house. To avoid being arrested, Tisdale did not seek treatment for his injury until November 2005. On Jan. 24, 2006, the bullet was removed from Tisdale’s foot.
Sentencing is set for May 12.The parties have agreed to a sentence of 30 years without parole.
Grissom commended Detective Dan McFarren of the Wichita Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service for their work on the case.