CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Six United Blood Nation gang members have been sentenced to lengthy terms for the murder of a South Carolina couple, a hit ordered from jail to prevent testimony against gang members who tried to rob their mattress store.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said they were sentenced Monday to between 13 years and life in prison after pleading guilty.
Prosecutors say at least a dozen gang members were connected with the killings, which were ordered to prevent Douglas London, 63, from testifying against three gang members who tried to rob the couple's Charlotte-area store in May 2014. Douglas and Deborah London were shot as they answered their door in Lake Wylie, South Carolina, that October.
U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. sentenced Rahkeem Lee McDonald, 25, to life for murder and conspiracy. David Lee Fudge, 24, got 26 years for murder and racketeering. The others who pleaded guilty to racketeering were Ibn Rashaan Cornea, 38, 23 years; Nehemijel Maurice Houston, 23, 20 years; Daquan Lamar Everrett, 23, 13 years; and Centrilla Shardon Leach, 33, 13 years.
Cogburn previously gave life sentences to Jamell Lamon Cureton, who ordered the killings, and Malcolm Jarrel Hartley, who shot the couple. Four others who have been convicted or pleaded guilty are awaiting sentencing.
The news release from U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray said that Cureton wrote from prison that he ordered Doug London killed because he could have identified him in the robbery, and that Deborah London was what he called "collegial damage."
Prosecutors said Cureton also ordered to gang members not to talk about the deaths, and that Hartley was promoted within the gang leadership after carrying out his orders.