Convicted killer Raheem Robinson took the stand in a Gretna courtroom Wednesday and testified that Robert “Lil Rob” Williams paid him $10,000 to shoot Albert Bullock in the head in front of a Waggaman daiquiri shop in January 2011.
Williams is on trial in 19th Judicial District Court on racketeering, drug and gun charges along with co-defendant Alcus “Bug” Smith, who faces second-degree murder, racketeering and drug charges in connection with the activities of the notorious Harvey Hustlers street gang.
Robinson, 23, also testified he made $6,500 a week selling heroin he got from Williams’ lieutenant, Harry Smoot, a man he said he protected under direct orders from Williams.
Asked by Assistant District Attorney Doug Freese what would have happened to someone who threatened Smoot, Robinson replied, “I’d have killed him.”
The testimony from Robinson and others Wednesday was a glimpse inside the day-to-day life of the Harvey Hustlers as laid out by prosecutors. Defense attorneys, however, continued to paint a picture of convicted felons saying whatever they could to spend less time in prison.
Williams’ attorney, Eddie Jordan Jr., drew attention to the many meetings Robinson had with state and federal prosecutors as part of a plea agreement that could reduce his eventual sentence for manslaughter to as little as 30 years
“You’ve always told them the things they wanted to hear, correct?” Jordan asked.
“The truth,” Robinson replied.
Jordan drew attention to conflicting testimony Robinson gave about how far away he was standing from Bullock, whose body had burn marks from the muzzle of a gun on his temple where he was shot.
Jordan said it seemed strange there was no discussion about the killing when Williams allegedly gave him $10,000 in a brown paper bag in the presence of other people.
Robinson, however, said there wasn’t anything to talk about. Williams had been at the daiquiri shop along with Smoot, who also was indicted in the racketeering case and is in prison. He said Williams told him to kill Bullock but leave the man with him, Terrance Antoine, alone.
“He (Antoine) brought that man out there to die,” Robinson said.
The jury also heard testimony from Tory Richardson, who is serving 11 years on racketeering, gun and drug charges. Richardson said he would sell crack he got from members of the Hustlers, including Williams’ brother, David “Mr. Harvey” Williams, who was shot and killed in 2010.
Richardson testified he has seen Robert Williams sell drugs, though Jordan asked why he didn’t report anything before he knew it could help his case.
Freese asked Richardson if he had been told not to lie, exaggerate or falsely implicate anyone, and Richardson said he had.
Matthew Goetz, the attorney for Smith, continued to ask witnesses testifying against Williams only if they knew his client. Richardson, like the others, said he had never seen Smith before.
Smith maintains he has never been a member of the Harvey Hustlers, while prosecutors allege he was the gang’s Texas-based source of cocaine they sold here, making him part of the same criminal enterprise.
Jurors also heard testimony from an associate of Donte Hall, the man Smith is accused of gunning down in a Marrero neighborhood in November 2013.
Leroy Bird, of Bridge City, who is serving 15 years for robbery and selling drugs, testified he told Hall not to meet with Smith, who prosecutors and other witnesses say was angry because he thought Hall had set him up in a drug deal gone bad.
Bird said he told Hall not to go to the meeting when Hall called him shortly before he was murdered.
Under questioning from Goetz, however, Bird was not able to pick out his own phone number from the records of calls Hall made that night, which Bird attributed to the fact that he cannot recall his phone number.
“Isn’t it more likely that you didn’t have a conversation with him?” said Goetz, who noted Bird didn’t talk to police until after he was picked up and questioned about Hall’s death.
Bird, however, said he had nothing to fear from the police because his phone was picked up by a cell tower near the airport in Kenner at the time of the murder.
The trial continues this week in Judge Henry Sullivan’s court.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.