Newport News Man Pleads Guilty to Murder
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 13, 2014|
NEWPORT NEWS, VA—Kevin L. Ashby, 25, of Newport News, Virginia, pleaded guilty yesterday to participating in a racketeering conspiracy and violence in aid of racketeering including murder.
Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, FBI Special Agent in Charge Royce E. Curtin, and Richard Meyers, Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Raymond Jackson.
Ashby was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 17, 2013, for his participation in a racketeering conspiracy, two counts of murder in aid of racketeering, as well as numerous firearm and robbery charges. Ashby faces a mandatory life sentence when he is sentenced on June 26, 2014.
According to court documents, Ashby was part of a criminal organization known locally as “Thug Relations,” alternatively known as “the Duct,” “Warwick Lawnz,” “TR,” and “From the Duct to the Lawnz,” a neighborhood gang operating in the Aqueduct Apartments, St. Michael’s Apartments, Mariner’s Landing Apartments, Heritage Trace Apartments, as well as Warwick Lawns, Warwick Town Home, Sharon Drive, and the Savage Drive areas of Newport News, Virginia. Ashby admitted his participation in the racketeering conspiracy, as charged in the indictment, that alleged a criminal enterprise engaged in murder, attempted murder, witness intimidation, robbery, and narcotics distribution. The indictment specifically charged the murders of Andre Horton and Andre Julius Johnson on May 17, 2009; the murder and robbery of Lafayette Bailey on December 15, 2009; and the murder and robbery of Lloyd Robinson on January 8, 2010. Ashby admitted his involvement in this criminal activity in a statement of facts filed in open court at the time of his guilty pleas.
This investigation was led by FBI and the Safe Streets Task Force with assistance from the Newport News Police and the Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Howard J. Zlotnick and Lisa R. McKeel, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.