CHARLOTTE, NC (Michael Gordon/The Charlotte Observer) - Three years after Doug and Debbie London were gunned down in their Lake Wylie home, a federal jury closed the loop on the killings Friday, finding three Charlotte gang members guilty of murder and other crimes.
Randall "Foe" Hankins, Nana "Ratchet" Adoma, and Ahkeem "Lil Keem" McDonald all face life sentences after being convicted of murder, racketeering, conspiracy, firearms and other gang-related crimes. They will be sentenced at a later date.
In all, 12 alleged members of the Charlotte cell of United Blood Nation were indicted in connection with the killings, which prosecutors say were ordered and carried out to keep Doug London from testifying against the three Bloods who tried to rob the Londons' mattress store.
Nine have pleaded guilty, including trigger man Malcolm "Bloody Silent" Hartley and Jamell Cureton, a gang leader who gave the order for the killings from his cell in the Mecklenburg County Jail. To avoid a possible death penalty, Hartley and Cureton pleaded guilty last year to two counts of racketeering murder and have begun serving life terms in prison.
The other seven await sentencing.
Hankins, Adoma and McDonald were the only members of the so-called Valentine Bloods to go to trial following the sweeping investigation that followed the October 2014 murders of the Londons in Lake Wylie, S.C., a crime that sent tremors through the greater Charlotte community.
"I can't remember another example of that level of contempt for the law," says Anne Tompkins, who was U.S. Attorney at the time of the Londons' deaths. "It took violence to a level I had not seen before, and it was startling.... It made me very frightened for a lot of people."
The trial lasted three weeks. The jury began deliberations Wednesday.
Hankins, 23, identified in FBI affidavits as one of the key planners of the London hit, was convicted of two counts of racketeering murder along with multiple conspiracy and firearms violations.
McDonald, 23, and Adoma, 22, were found guilty of murdering Kwamne Clyburn, a homeless teenager who was bound and shot seven times with two different guns in a southwest Charlotte park in 2013. Prosecutors say Clyburn was lured to Pressley Road Park and executed for falsely claiming to be a member of the gang. Investigators linked his death to the Valentine Bloods during the London investigation, court documents say. Cureton had previously pleaded guilty for his role in the killing.
Adoma was also one of the three gang members who tried to rob the Londons' mattress store in May 2014, prosecutors say. Doug London shot Cureton during the attempt. A few months later, the gang launched their plan to murder the Londons in hopes of derailing the trials of Cureton and Adoma.
"No witnesses, no case," the gang members were purported to say as they mapped out the killings.
A key witness in the case was one of UBN's own. Briana Johnson, who has already pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy in connection with the Londons' murder, told jurors she drove boyfriend Malcolm Hartley to the Londons' home, then waited in the car as Hartley walked off into the night. Johnson, the daughter of a former Cabarrus County sheriff's deputy, heard two bursts of gunfire, she testified, before Hartley ran back to the car and the couple returned to Charlotte.
As she drove north, Johnson said Hartley chain smoked and made one phone call to a fellow Valentine Blood.