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Old 01-05-2017, 10:54 AM
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Default Been a long trial: But HOBOS "Super Gang Leader is Guility of killing 8

This one news item on gangs is for the record books. Power does become evil in the long run and anyone that thinks they can control it is fooling themselves. IMHO.

.................................................. ........... PART # 1

Jury convicts reputed leaders of Hobos 'super gang' for 8 killings
Thursday 5th January 2017.

Even in a city where gangs and gun violence have plagued neighborhoods for decades, the Hobos were in a class of their own.

As they built a vast narcotics empire, the Hobos, a "super gang" made up of leaders from rival Chicago street gangs, ruled by fear, federal prosecutors alleged. They robbed drug dealers at gunpoint, kidnapped and tortured rivals, even targeted a former NBA player for a stickup after he was spotted at a nightclub wearing a pricey necklace.

But it was the shootings that truly terrorized communities. Using high-powered weapons, the Hobos opened fire on one victim outside a day care, another at a crowded block party, two more in front of a funeral home. The Hobos went after informants, too, killing one outside a barbershop and ambushing another as he drove up to his suburban home with his fiancee and two young kids.

On Wednesday, a federal jury convicted six reputed Hobos leaders of racketeering conspiracy charges alleging the gang carried out a total of eight murders over the course of a decade as well as a slew of kidnappings, robberies and shootings that left several people gravely wounded.....

After a marathon 15-week trial that featured hundreds of witnesses and four days of closing arguments, the jury deliberated into a sixth day before finding all six defendants guilty of the main racketeering count carrying a sentence of up to life in prison.

Among those convicted was Gregory "Bowlegs" Chester, the gang's reputed leader who testified in his own defense last month. The jury also convicted alleged gang lieutenants Paris Poe, Arnold Council, Gabriel Bush, Derrick Vaughn and William Ford.

Four other members of the gang, including Chester's cousin, pleaded guilty before trial. An 11th Hobo died before charges were handed down, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

The trial unfolded as skyrocketing gun violence in Chicago made embarrassing headlines across the country and even became an issue in the presidential election. Earlier this week, President-elect Donald Trump called for federal intervention if local authorities can't get a handle on a homicide rate that in 2016 reached levels not seen in two decades.

Speaking to reporters after the verdict, U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said the ury's finding sends a message to other would-be gang members that violence will be confronted and "somebody is here to punch back."

"The Hobos street gang was as bad as it gets," Fardon said in the lobby of the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse. "These men were ruthless in their pursuit of crime and violence. They sought to join forces to enrich themselves and empower themselves through fear and violence. ... They terrorized Chicago neighborhoods on the South Side for years."
Hobos tattoo

Hobos gang leader Paris Poe's back tattoo that states "The Earth Is Our Turf" with "Hobo" in the center. (Provided by U.S. attorney)

Fardon also said the gang was a "reflection of the realities" that law enforcement and community leaders face in dealing with the spiraling violence — a seemingly endless cycle in which poverty and other socioeconomic factors force kids into gangs at a young age.

"As much as I wished the verdict means the end of the cycle ... it does not," he said.

As the verdicts were read in U.S. District Judge John Tharp's packed courtroom, Chester sat without expression, his elbow on the defense table and a hand resting on his right cheek. Behind him, Poe, dressed in a gray suit and leather loafers with shackles on his ankles visible, frowned and rolled his eyes.

Later, when the judge praised the jury for its "extraordinary service," Poe appeared to smirk.

The verdict took nearly 20 minutes for the judge to read aloud in the courtroom. The jury found that four of the defendants — Poe, Council, Bush and Vaughn — carried out a combined five murders, some by themselves or with one other. But the jury held those four defendants as well as Chester and Ford responsible for all eight murders by its guilty verdict on the conspiracy count.

The jury acquitted on only one lesser count against Ford for using a gun in furtherance of a gang crime.

Since they were convicted of personally taking part in at least one murder each, Poe, Council, Bush and Vaughn each faces a mandatory life sentence. On the other hand, Chester and Ford face up to the possibility of life in prison.

Tharp set sentencing for June 23.

Attorneys for the six defendants left the courthouse without comment, but Chester's attorney, Beau Brindley, later emailed a statement alleging police had used unscrupulous tactics to build the Hobos case and that the racketeering law used to convict the defendants was "an instrument of injustice."

"Chester's conviction results not from evidence of anything he actually did, but from prosecutors' use of the RICO statute to obtain convictions in the absence of proof and provide the public with a convenient scapegoat for the city's violence epidemic," Brindley said.

Not since El Rukn trials two decades ago had so much violence been alleged against a single gang. Heavy security was in place at the courthouse for the duration of the trial, and the names of jurors were kept secret.

Some witnesses appeared intimidated by the gang's reputation for violence. Several testified only after warnings they would be held in contempt of court. But Mack Mason, a former auto body shop employee, refused to take the stand, saying some of his family still lived in the area that the Hobos operated in. The judge ordered him jailed for 60 days.

Testifying in October, former NBA player Bobby Simmons said he couldn't remember details of the night he claimed he was robbed at gunpoint of a necklace worth more than $100,000 outside the Ice Bar in River North in 2006. It was only after Simmons was confronted with his own grand jury testimony that the Chicago native and former DePaul University star acknowledged Poe had snatched the diamond-studded necklace from his neck, then fired at least 14 shots at his truck as Simmons gave chase across the South Side.

The centerpiece of the case was the alleged murders of two informants who were cooperating with law enforcement against the gang. Jurors heard evidence that Poe and Council fatally shot Wilbert "Big Shorty" Moore outside a South Side barbershop in 2006 because they believed Moore had provided information to police that led to a raid on a Hobos residence.

In April 2013, Poe cut off an electronic monitoring device and ambushed informant Keith Daniels outside the Dolton apartment where he had been moved by authorities for his safety, according to prosecutors. Dressed in all black and wearing a mask, Poe shot Daniels more than a dozen times in front of his fiancee and two young children as payback for Daniels' cooperation with the FBI in a drug conspiracy case against Chester, the charges alleged.

After prosecutors rested their case in early December, the trial took a dramatic twist when Chester made the unusual decision to testify in his own defense. In three days on the witness stand, Chester admitted to dealing drugs but denied he was the leader of the Hobos and even went as far as to suggest that the gang does not exist.

Chester, 39, who walks with a severe limp due to a childhood bone disease, denied taking part in any shootings or killings and scoffed at the notion that anyone with a disability could be the head of such an allegedly violent enterprise.

Jury convicts reputed leaders of Hobos 'super gang' for 8 killings - Chicago Tribune

Search Page: https://www.bing.com/search?q=Leader...ZI&form=MOZSPG

Improvise - Adapt - Over Come...

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Old 01-05-2017, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: Been a long trial: But HOBOS "Super Gang Leader is Guility of killing 8

..................... PART # 2 to the above news on HOBOS Gang Leader

He also sought to distance himself from Daniels' killing, saying he had no motive whatsoever to order the hit even though Daniels' cooperation had led to Chester's arrest on drug charges days earlier. Chester told the jury his mother was good friends with Daniels' mother and that she had already lost another son to violence.

"Keith Daniels is like family to me," Chester testified. "His mother is like my mother. I mean, I felt her pain. I know what she went through, and I wouldn't ever want to see her go through anything like that again."

In a tense cross-examination, Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Otlewski repeatedly tried to paint Chester as a liar. While he mostly kept his composure, Chester's memory grew hazy on many points, from whom he was with for certain drug deals to how much heroin his main drug supplier would give him.

The cross-examination nearly derailed when Otlewski asked Chester about an elaborate arm tattoo depicting a pair of eyes — and what appear to be horns — overlooking the now-razed Robert Taylor Homes along with the word "Hobo" and the phrase "The Earth is Our Turf."

Chester testified that the tattoo is a tribute to a slain friend nicknamed Hobo and that the eyes represent God looking down over the public housing projects where they were raised.

"Was the God that you follow an angry God?" asked Otlewski, drawing an immediate rebuke from the judge.

Prosecutors allege that the Hobos represented a new breed of gang that was made up of members from various gangs who once were rivals. Many of the Hobos started in the now-demolished Robert Taylor and Ida B. Wells public housing complexes from factions of the Gangster Disciples and the Black Disciples street gangs, according to prosecutors.

Lawyers for the defendants, however, have argued that much of the prosecution's evidence is based on the lies of informants or associates of the Hobos who agreed to cooperate in hope of leniency from prosecutors.

Jurors sat through months of tedious but often gruesome testimony about one violent scene after another, all attributed to the Hobos. They heard about the shooting outside a day care near the Ida B. Wells complex in which a father — and known Hobos rival — was shot nine times in the legs and buttocks while going to pick up his child.

They were shown photos of the bodies of two leaders of the rival Black Disciples who were ambushed and killed in September 2007 after they left a funeral home. One of the victims, Antonio Bluitt, still had a cigar hanging from his mouth.

There were also photos taken of injuries suffered by two brothers who prosecutors say were tied up and tortured with a hot clothes iron by several Hobos who mistakenly thought they had narcotics stashed in their Far South Side home.

Some of the most dramatic testimony came from Daniels' fiancee, Shanice Peatry, who testified she saw a gunman walk up to their car and open fire though the front windshield while she sat with Daniels and their son and daughter, then ages 4 and 6.

Peatry said she instinctively ducked into the back seat to push the kids to the floor while Daniels bailed out of the passenger side and fell to the ground. The gunman took his time, she said, walking over to Daniels and standing over him, pumping round after round into his chest as their children screamed.

"It was so many (shots) I couldn't count," said Peatry, pausing at times in her testimony to shake her head and draw a breath. "It kind of felt like it was in slow motion to me, like he wasn't in no rush."

Before he jumped into a waiting SUV, the assailant walked close enough to Peatry for her to see dreadlocks sticking out from under his mask and peer into his eyes. She knew instantly it was Poe, she said.

Two weeks later, as part of the defense case, the jury watched a heartbreaking videotaped interview of Daniels' son talking about what he'd witnessed that day. Seated at a low table with colored markers in front of him, the boy fidgeted and kicked his feet as the interviewer coaxed details out of him.

"I was covering my ears because those gunshots was too loud," the boy said. "My sister said, 'Don't get out, Daddy! Don't!' ... My daddy got out and that's when he got shot in the leg. ... He tripped over a rock. He was on the ground and he got shot again."

The boy said the killer wielded a shotgun and was wearing a mask that covered all but his eyes and mouth — a description that differed from the account given by his mother.

"He came up and shot the window and he shot my daddy," the boy said.........

Jury convicts reputed leaders of Hobos 'super gang' for 8 killings - Chicago Tribune

Search Page: https://www.bing.com/search?q=Leader...ZI&form=MOZSPG

Improvise - Adapt - Over Come...

Last edited by mlurp; 01-05-2017 at 11:11 AM..
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