Seven members of the infamous “39’ers” street gang, which was accused of 14 killings between 2010 and 2011, were given life sentences by a federal judge this week.
U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey capped three days of sentencing by giving four life terms to Curtis Neville, 24, on Wednesday. Neville was convicted of taking part in the Feb. 20, 2011, murder of Littlejohn Haynes in the 3200 block of Marais Street, as well as a variety of racketeering, drug and gun counts.
Zainey on Wednesday also handed a 21-year term to Damian Barnes, 29, and a 78-month sentence to Solomon Doyle, 31, for their roles in the gang’s drug dealing.
A federal judge this week rejected pleas for new trials by all 10 "39'ers" gang members who …
Prosecutors said in a 47-count indictment that the gang’s members left a trail of dead bodies in Central City and the Upper 9th Ward as they dealt heroin on city streets.
The group was a union of three separate gangs: “3NG,” operating at Third and Galvez streets; the “G-Strip” group, from Gallier Street in the Upper 9th Ward; and another group from the former Florida housing development.
Zainey also sentenced a number of other group members Monday and Tuesday.
Jasmine Perry, 26; Leroy Price, 32; Ashton Price, 26; Alonzo Peters, 27; Terrioues Owney, 30; and McCoy Walker, 26, all were given life prison sentences.
All of those men except for Peters were convicted of a role in at least one murder. Peters was convicted of racketeering, conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine base, and a firearms conspiracy charge.
Owney and Walker were convicted of one of the most infamous acts attributed to the gang: the Dec. 20, 2010, shooting of well-known bounce rapper Renetta "Magnolia Shorty" Lowe and Jerome "ManMan" Hampton outside a New Orleans East apartment complex.
A gang member testified at the trial that Lowe, who seemed to have a promising career ahead of her, was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sentencing did not take place for one gang member who had been scheduled to receive a mandatory life sentence. Court records do not show a new sentencing date for Evans Lewis.
The sentencing hearings came after Zainey last week rejected a last-ditch effort from the defendants to secure new trials.
It began in 2010 with a single wiretap on the phone of a mid-level drug dealer, Montreal Delaney.
The defendants argued that they should have learned of a letter from gang enforcer Washington "Big Wash" McCaskill casting doubt on the veracity of some testimony. McCaskill testified for prosecutors at the trial, but in the letter he wrote that the testimony of two other government witnesses was “made up lies.”
Zainey ruled that the letter would not have affected the outcome of the case.