Behind him were about two dozen supporters, among them clergymen, educators and his teenage daughter.
Cornell is a man of peace, he insisted. He never ordered anyone to commit a violent act, he said, and any crimes that members of his gang may have committed happened behind his back. Nine months after being found guilty on federal racketeering charges, Cornell had his say in U.
District Court Wednesday before being sentenced to 28 years in prison. The year-old gang leader spoke for about 20 minutes. He wept as he accused police of conspiring against him. He also said he forgave those who testified against him during his trial. He was one 14 men named in a federal indictment last year.
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Of the 14 originally charged, seven wound up taking plea deals. The other seven were tried last fall in U. District Court in Winston-Salem. Following the nearly month-long trial, three of the men were acquitted and one had his charges thrown out due to lack of evidence. Cornell was convicted of conspiracy to commit racketeering, committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering and the use of a firearm in a violent crime. His brother, Russell Kilfoil and associate Ernesto Wilson were convicted of conspiracy to commit racketeering.
Kilfoil was originally scheduled to be sentenced alongside his brother Wednesday, but had his sentencing hearing postponed until Aug. He rose to prominence inwhen he and several local clergymen hosted a press conference protesting what they saw as police harassment of minorities and calling for local black and Hispanic gangs to make peace — a move supporters say was the primary reason the authorities went after him. Gregory Headen, pastor at Genesis Baptist Church.
Cornell came into the courtroom shortly after 10 a. He was handcuffed, chained and wore an orange jumpsuit.
He smiled at supporters. Supporters described him as a crusader for social justice, someone who encouraged children to steer clear of the more violent aspects of gang culture. Wesley Morris, a youth pastor who works at Beloved Community Center said Cornell had told his story to numerous classrooms. Cornell spoke last. He told U. District Judge James A. Beaty Jr. Among other things, Cornell criticized the immunity deals some witnesses got in exchange for testifying.
Cornell said that he tried to run a peaceful organization. He said that he kicked out members who were involved in criminal activity. He also said authorities failed to properly investigate what he described as plans to assassinate him.
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After Cornell finished speaking, Beaty delivered his sentence. Cornell will serve two sentences of 18 years to run concurrently and one sentence of 10 years to run the year sentence is complete. But from a standpoint of justice, this was unjust and unnecessary. Cornell was one of 14 men named in a federal indictment last year. Of those originally charged, seven took plea deals.
The other seven were tried last year in Winston-Salem. He was convicted of conspiracy to commit racketeering, committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering and use of a firearm in a violent crime.
Jorge Cornell, who was found guilty last year on federal racketeering charges. Please subscribe to keep reading. You can cancel at any time. Already a subscriber?
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Dashboard Logout. Latin Kings leader sentenced to 28 years in prison. Share this. By Robert Lopez. Cornell was accused of heading a conspiracy to commit murder, arson and kidnapping. Cornell also ran unsuccessfully for Greensboro City Council in and Supporters waved as Cornell was led away.
After the hearing, the Rev. Johnson said he was moved by what he saw in the courtroom.
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Contact Robert C. Lopez atand follow rclopez79 on Twitter. More Information Cornell was one of 14 men named in a federal indictment last year.
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