Federal Jury Hands Down Guilty Verdicts Against Three Charlotte Gang Members
Two Co-Defendants Are Serving Life Sentences; Seven Others Have Pleaded Guilty
CHARLOTE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose announced today that a federal jury seated in Charlotte has returned guilty verdicts against three United Blood Nation (UBN or Bloods) gang members on multiple charges for crimes related to the gang’s racketeering activities, including three murders. U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. presided over the three-week trial, which began on September 21, 2017.
John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department join U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcement.
The jury convicted Randall Hankins, II, a/k/a “Foe,” 23, Nana Yaw Adoma, a/k/a “Ratchet,” 22, and Akheem Tahja McDonald, a/k/a “Lil Keem” or “Savage,” 23, of racketeering conspiracy charges. Hankins was also convicted of two counts of murder in aid of racketeering, for his role in the 2014 murders of Douglas and Deborah London, and two counts of use or carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in the death of Douglas and Deborah London.
Adoma and Akheem McDonald were convicted of one count of murder in aid of racketeering for the 2013 murder of Kwamne Donqurius Clyburn, and one count of use or carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in the death of Kwamne Donqurius Clyburn. Adoma was also convicted of one count of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and one count of use or carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and possession of firearm in furthertance of a crime of violence, for his role in the armed robbery of a business owned by the Londons.
Two co-defendants, Jamell Lamon Cureton and Malcolm Jarrel Hartley, were previously sentenced to life in prison for the murders of the Londons and related racketeering activity charges. Cureton received a second life sentence for his involvement in the murder of Kwamne Clyburn. Seven co-defendants have pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges and are currently awaiting sentencing. They are: David Lee Fudge a/k/a “Flames” or “Flame;” Daquan Lamar Everett a/k/a “Day Day;” Nehemijel Maurice Houston a/k/a “Mijel” or “Swagg Out;” Briana Shakeyah Johnson a/k/a “Breezy B” or “Breezy V;” Ibn Rashaan Kornegay a/k/a “IB;” Centrilia Shardon Leach a/k/a “CeCe;” and Rahkeem Lee McDonald a/k/a “Hitman” or “Big Keem.”
According to court filings, trial evidence, witness testimony, admissions contained in filed plea documents and other court proceedings:
Beginning at least in or about 2012, Cureton, Hartley and their co-defendants were members of the United Blood Nation gang (UBN or Bloods) in Charlotte. As UBN members, the defendants carried out violent acts for the purpose of protecting and furthering the gang’s power. 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.
Cureton is a member of the Charlotte-area UBN and holds the rank of 5-Star General. As early as 2007, Cureton reported his affiliation with the UBN as a Valentine Blood. Law enforcement seized Cureton’s UBN “Book of Knowledge,” wherein he was identified as a 3-Star General and has since been promoted to a 5-Star General. As a 5-Star General, Cureton commanded the gang’s activities in the area. Hartley is also a member of the Charlotte-area Valentine Blood set of the UBN. Hartley was “ranked up,” or “promoted,” to a 2-Star General, following the murders of Douglas and Deborah London.
On or about May 25, 2014, Cureton, Adoma and Fudge robbed “The Mattress Warehouse,” in Pineville, N.C., owned by Douglas and Deborah London. A federal indictment charged Cureton, Adoma and Fudge in connection with the robbery. In the months that followed, Cureton communicated with Hartley and other UBN gang members and associates, including co-defendants Everrett, Hankins, Houston, Johnson, Kornegay, Leach, and Rahkeem McDonald to plan the murders of the Londons. In a letter Cureton sent from prison, Cureton explained that he ordered the murder of Douglas London because the victim was going to testify against him in court, and described Deborah London as “collateral damage.”
According to evidence presented at trial and witness testimony, after the gang’s leadership authorized Hartley to proceed with the murder, Hankins gave Hartley the gun he used to carry out the murders. Hankins also gave Hartley a plastic shopping bag and instructed him to wrap the bag around the gun so the spent cartridges would fall in the bag and would not be found at the murder scene. On or about October 23, 2014, Johnson drove Hartley to South Carolina, where Hartley shot and killed Douglas and Deborah London at their home. According to trial evidence and witness testimony, sometime after the murders, Hankins sent Kornegay a text with a link to a news story about the couple’s murders.
Following the Londons’ murders, UBN leadership directed the gang members to “lay low” and to avoid contact with law enforcement. Cureton also told Hartley that from that point forward the topic of the victims’ murders was forbidden to be discussed and authorized action against any person who talked about it. Witnesses testified that Hankins was upset that other gang members had been “ranked-up,” or promoted within the ranks of the gang, as a result of the murders, except him.
Trial evidence also established that on August 22, 2013, Cureton, Adoma and Akheem McDonald murdered Kwamne Donqurius Clyburn, after luring him to Pressley Road Neighborhood Park, in Charlotte. According to evidence presented at trial, Clyburn sustained seven gunshot wounds by two different firearms. Two of the gunshot wounds were to the back of Clyburn’s head. According to witness testimony and as Cureton previously admitted in court papers, Cureton, Adoma and Akheem McDonald murdered Clyburn because they suspected that Clyburn was “false claiming” (falsely claiming to be a Bloods member), and because Clyburn failed a “DNA check,” meaning that they could not verify Clyburn’s claim to be a Blood.
Hankins, Adoma and Akheem McDonald are currently in federal custody. The maximum penalty associated with the charges of which they were convicted is life in prison. The defendants’ sentences will be determined by the Court, taking into consideration the federal sentencing guidelines and statutory sentencing factors. A sentencing date has not been set yet.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Rose commended the FBI for their investigation of the case and thanked CMPD for their assistance. U.S. Attorney Rose also thanked the York County Sheriff’s Office and York County Solicitor Kevin Brackett for their assistance throughout the investigation and prosecution of this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Greene and Don Gast are prosecuting the case.