Drug Kingpin Kaboni Savage and Sister Kidada Convicted of Arson Murders
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 13, 2013|
PHILADELPHIA—A federal jury today found drug kingpin Kaboni Savage, 38, and his sister Kidada, 30, guilty of orchestrating the murders of a federal witness’ family and of conspiring to participate in a long-term, large-scale violent drug trafficking enterprise (RICO conspiracy). The Savages’ co-defendants, Robert Merritt, 32, and Steven Northington, 41, were also convicted in the racketeering (RICO) conspiracy. Savage was convicted of 12 counts of murder in aid of racketeering. Kidada Savage was convicted of six counts of murder in aid of racketeering, all related to the firebombing murders of the Coleman family home on October 9, 2004. Kaboni and Kidada Savage were also convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, retaliating against a witness by murder, and of using fire to commit a felony (the Coleman murders).
Steven Northington was convicted of two counts of murder in aid of racketeering. Both he and Kaboni Savage are eligible for the death penalty. The penalty phase is scheduled to begin May 20, 2013.
Savage’s drug enterprise operated primarily in the North Philadelphia area from at least late 1997 to 2010. After Savage was indicted on drug charges in 2004, he ordered the murders of the family of government witness Eugene Coleman. Lamont Lewis, who has pleaded guilty, firebombed the Coleman family home on Savage’s orders which Kidada Savage relayed to Lewis.
In addition to the murders of the six people inside the Coleman home, Savage was convicted of:
- the March 19, 1998 murder of Kenneth Lassiter, age 44, of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, near the corner of 8th and Butler Streets in Philadelphia;
- the September 6, 2000 murder of Mansur “Shafiq” Abdullah, age 22, of 11th Street, Philadelphia. Abdullah was shot and his burned body was later recovered in the 4200 block of North Park Avenue in Philadelphia;
- the September 13, 2001 murder of Carlton “Mohammed” Brown, age 27, of Darien Street, Philadelphia;
- the February 26, 2003 murder of Barry Parker, age 32, of Susquehanna Avenue, Philadelphia, by Kaboni Savage and Steven Northington, in the 3900 block of North Franklin Street in Philadelphia;
- the March 14, 2003 murder of Tyrone Toliver, age 26, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, in the 3500 block of North Palmetto Street in Philadelphia;
- the March 1, 2004 murder of Tybius Flowers, age 32, of K Street, by Kaboni Savage and Steven Northington, in the 3700 block of N. 8th Street in Philadelphia;
The RICO conspiracy count carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Kidada Savage faces a mandatory life term for the murder charges.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Philadelphia Police Department, and the Maple Shade, New Jersey Police Department. The United States Bureau of Prisons, the United States Marshals Service, and HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) also assisted in the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David E. Troyer and John M. Gallagher and Trial Attorney Steve Mellin of the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Unit at the U.S. Department of Justice.