Homicide

Lawyer: Prosecutors make plea deals to in gang leader's case

FILE - In this April 10, 2014, file photo taken from video, FBI agents collect evidence at an apartment complex in Atlanta, where federal agents rescued kidnap victim Frank Janssen, of Wake Forest, N.C. Kelvin Melton, a violent criminal described as a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang goes on trial Monday, June 6, 2016, in North Carolina on a federal kidnapping charge after authorities say he helped orchestrate the abduction of Janssen, a prosecutor's father, from his prison cell. (AP Photo/Johnny Clark, File)

FILE - In this April 10, 2014, file photo taken from video, FBI agents collect evidence at an apartment complex in Atlanta, where federal agents rescued kidnap victim Frank Janssen, of Wake Forest, N.C. Kelvin Melton, a violent criminal described as a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang goes on trial Monday, June 6, 2016, in North Carolina on a federal kidnapping charge after authorities say he helped orchestrate the abduction of Janssen, a prosecutor's father, from his prison cell. (AP Photo/Johnny Clark, File)  (The Associated Press)

Federal prosecutors say an imprisoned gang leader known as "The Godfather" ordered the kidnapping of the North Carolina assistant district attorney who put him away for life.

Attorneys described their cases Tuesday in the trial of 51-year-old Kelvin Melton. Prosecutors say the Bronx, New York, native was a founder of the Bloods street gang on the East Coast.

Prosecutors say Melton's underlings mistakenly kidnapped the assistant DA's father. Prosecutors say they wiretapped a cellphone smuggled into Melton's prison cell and caught him ordering his underlings to kill the father.

Melton's attorney Gerald Beaver urged jurors not to believe witnesses that will testify that the leader ordered the action. Beaver says nine people struck plea deals to avoid the death penalty or life sentences for earlier shootings and kidnapping plots.