Trial update: North Carolina Latin Kings

The defense team for the North Carolina Latin Kings scored a win last week when a federal judge prevented the US government from presenting evidence to support an allegation that state leader Jorge Cornell bragged about killing a rival gang member during a bench conference in federal court last week.

One of numerous alleged “overt acts” in the racketeering indictment against Cornell and six other Latin Kings states that in July 2010 Cornell bragged that he killed an MS-13 member by saying, “I’m not going to say when or where, but I got me a 13. I got me one. A certain brother did not want to motherf***ing pull the trigger, so I snatched it out of his hand and did what I had to do. You know what I’m saying? I can’t stand niggas hesitating.”

Michael Patrick, Cornell’s court-appointed attorney, said on Sunday that earlier this week the prosecution wanted to play a segmented of audio secretly recorded by government informant Jose Lugo that included the statement for the jury, but he objected. Judge James A. Beaty Jr. sustained the objection.  

Neither the indictment nor any evidence presented so far by the government contains any indication that a murder was actually carried out by Cornell. 

I had to miss court on Friday to work on this week’s cover story about the Winston-Salem chapter of the Black Panther Party, but the News & Record and the ALKQN support committee have coverage of the day’s court proceedings.

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