Two Top Hoover Crips Street Gang Members Indicted in the Murder of a Federal Witness
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 10, 2013|
TULSA, OK—United States Attorney Danny C. Williams, Sr. for the Northern District of Oklahoma announced today that a federal grand jury indicted two top members of the Hoover Crips street gang for the murder of a federal witness.
The fourth superseding indictment charges Lorell Antonio Battle, 31; Gaywone Dekeith Blades, 19; Paul Edward Battle, 32; Thomas Layeffetta Jackson, 28, all of Tulsa, with conspiracy and drug related crimes. Additionally, Lorell Battle and Gaywone Blades are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, murder of federal witness, and the use of a firearm during and in relation to a violent crime in retaliation against a federal witness.
In addition to the drug related charges, the fourth superseding indictment alleges that, in April 2013, Lorell Battle and Gaywone Blades premeditated the murder of a federal witness in retaliation for his being a federal trial witness and providing to law enforcement information about gang activities and other crimes. The indictment alleges Lorell Battle shot the victim 13 times at close range with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol.
“This indictment reflects our vigorous and unwavering efforts to seek justice for the victim and curb gang violence in the Northern District of Oklahoma,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Those who commit acts of violence here will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. We will continue to work alongside our law enforcement partners in the fight against drug trafficking and violent gang activities.”
The superseding indictment is the result of a two-year investigation conducted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) into the Hoover Crips street gang and its criminal activities of drug dealing, extortion, and violence, including shootings.
The case is being investigated by the Tulsa Police Department’s Special Investigations Division assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert T. Raley, Allen J. Litchfield, and Catherine Depew on behalf of the United States.
A grand jury indictment is one method of charging a defendant with alleged violations of federal law, which must be proven in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt to overcome a defendants’ presumption of innocence.