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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Two Charlotte Bloods Gang Members Sentenced To Life In Prison For The Double-murder Of Lake Wylie Couple

One Defendant Also Sentenced for A Third and Unrelated Murder

CHARLOTE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose announced today that Jamell Lamon Cureton, 24, and Malcolm Jarrel Hartley, 23, were both sentenced to life in prison without parole in connection to the 2014 double-murder of Douglas and Deborah London in Lake Wylie, S.C., and related charges. Cureton was also sentenced to life in prison for the 2013 murder of Kwamne Donqurius Clyburn in Charlotte. U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. presided over today’s sentencing hearings.

 

John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division; Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department; and Sheriff Kevin R. Tolson of the York County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina join U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcement.

 

“Today, the Court handed down life sentences to Cureton and Hartley for the murders of three innocent people whose families are still dealing with the loss of their loved ones. May these sentences bring some sense of peace for those grieving families,” said U.S. Attorney Rose. “Our message to these violent gangs: We are resolute, we are prepared and we will ensure you are punished mightily for gang violence and community intimidation.

 

According to previous court filings, admissions contained in filed plea documents and today’s sentencing hearings:

 

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. 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.

 

Cureton, a.k.a. “Assassin” and “Murda Mel,” 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, a.k.a. “Silent” and “Bloody Silent,” 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, Nana Yaw Adoma and David Lee Fudge robbed “The Mattress Warehouse” store, owned by the victims, Douglas and Deborah London, in Pineville, N.C. Federal charges were subsequently filed against 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 Daquan Lamar Everrett, Randall Avery Hankins, II, Nehemijel Maurice Houston, Briana Shakeyah Johnson, Ibn Rashaan Kornegay, Centrilla Shardon Leach, and Rahkeem Lee McDonald to plan the murders of Douglas and Deborah London. 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.” The gang’s leadership authorized Hartley to proceed with the murder, and on or about October 23, 2014, Johnson drove Hartley to South Carolina, where Hartley shot and killed Douglas and Deborah London at their home.

 

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.

 

In addition, on August 22, 2013, Cureton, Adoma and Akheem McDonald murdered Kwamne Donqurius Clyburn, after luring him to Pressley Road Neighborhood Park, in Charlotte. Cureton admitted in court papers that the three gang members 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.

 

In September 2016, Cureton pleaded guilty to a total of 10 criminal counts: two counts of murder in aid of racketeering for the deaths of Douglas and Deborah London; two counts of use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in the deaths of Douglas and Deborah London; one count of racketeering conspiracy; one count of Hobbs Act robbery; one count of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity; one count of use or carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence; one count of murder in aid of racketeering for the death of Kwamne Donqurius Clyburn; and one count of use and carry of a firearm 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.

 

Hartley pleaded guilty to a total of five counts: two counts of murder in aid of racketeering for the deaths of Douglas and Deborah London; two counts of use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in the deaths of Douglas and Deborah London; and one count racketeering conspiracy.

 

Cureton and Hartley’s co-defendants, Fudge, Everett, Kornegay, Leach, Johnson, Houston and Rahkeem Lee McDonald previously pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with this prosecution. Sentencing dates for those defendants have not been set.

 

Three additional defendants, Adoma, Hankins and Ahkeem McDonald currently each face racketeering conspiracy charges. Ahkeem McDonald and Adoma are also charged with murder in aid of racketeering and use and 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 is also charged with Hobbs Act Robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity and use or carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence for his role in the mattress store robbery. Randall Hankins is also charged with two counts of murder in aid of racketeering and two counts of use and 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 deaths of Douglas and Deborah London.

 

The investigation was led by the FBI with the invaluable assistance of CMPD and the York County Sheriff’s Office. In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Rose also thanked York County Solicitor Kevin Brackett for his support and assistance throughout the investigation and prosecution of this case.

 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Greene and Don Gast are prosecuting the case.

Updated April 25, 2017