Jurors viewed autopsy photos of two young men who prosecutors say were killed by Harvey Hustlers gang members as the trial continued Monday for two of the 39 people indicted in state and federal courts earlier this year on a raft of charges, including racketeering, gun possession, drug distribution and murder.
Robert “Lil Rob” Williams is charged with racketeering and drug and gun crimes, while Alcus “Bug” Smith faces second-degree murder, racketeering and drug charges in 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna.
Prosecutors say the Harvey Hustlers were responsible for years of mayhem — including as many as seven murders — as they ran drugs from Texas to West Jefferson for sale on local streets.
Dana Troxclair, a forensic pathologist for the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office, testified for the prosecution Monday that Albert Bullock, of Gretna, was killed by a single shot to the left temple at close range.
Williams, the alleged leader of the Harvey Hustlers, is accused of paying a fellow gang member to kill Bullock, who was found dead in Waggaman in January 2011.
Troxclair also testified that while Donte Hall was shot nine times in November 2013, he likely was killed by a bullet that struck his head or one that hit him in the chest. One of the bullet holes suggested he had been shot as he lay on the ground.
Hall was found dead in a Marrero neighborhood in November 2013. Prosecutors say Smith and two other shooters killed him because Smith felt Hall had set him up in a drug deal that went bad.
The prosecution is also focusing on an alleged cocaine deal among Williams, Smith and others at a Manhattan Boulevard daiquiri shop that led to a high-speed chase that involved the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.
Defense attorneys, however, continued to put the focus on elements of the alleged crimes that they say prosecutors have no evidence to support.
Lon Boudreaux, a special agent with the FBI who was part of a surveillance operation during the alleged daiquiri shop deal, testified under cross-examination by Smith’s attorney Matthew Goetz that he didn’t actually see any drugs exchange hands that evening.
Under cross-examination by Eddie Jordan Jr., who represents Williams, Boudreaux said he didn’t see anything that would exclude the possibility that Williams simply was there with his girlfriend and wasn’t involved in any illegal activity.
However, Boudreaux testified under questioning from Assistant District Attorney Doug Freese that Williams’ behavior was consistent with being a lookout as a deal went down in a car between Smith and Williams’ brother, Clifford Sonnier.
Authorities said they found drugs and a gun that had been tossed from the car after it left the scene and led them on a chase across West Jefferson.
The trial is expected to continue through the week before Judge Henry Sullivan.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.