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.