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11-05-2012, 07:51 AM

Eastern New Orleans 'Marley Gang' linked to violent crimes, including murder
updated November 02, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Top, L-R: Devante Billy, second-degree murder suspect; Brent Davis, armed robbery suspect. Bottom, L-R: Charles "Chuck" Carter Jr., second-degree murder suspect; Quincy Jones, armed robbery suspect. Officials say these individuals belong to the violent "Marley Gang" from eastern New Orleans.

Fourteen-year-old Robert Ransom and 15-year-old Leander Burds appeared in New Orleans Juvenile Court on Tuesday and listened to a detective accuse them of robbing four people at gunpoint in Uptown the night of Oct. 28. Minutes after their hearing concluded, Charles "Chuck" Carter Jr., 16, entered the courtroom and heard a homicide investigator testify that someone saw the youth participate in the fatal shooting of a UNO student on Oct. 19.

The offenses happened on different days, in separate parts of town. But authorities believe there's a link: they say Ransom, Burds and Carter all belong to a violent group of street associates from eastern New Orleans who call themselves "the Marley Gang." Judging from group members' Facebook pictures, the name, in part, may refer to a fondness for musician Bob Marley.

Investigators in court documents say the Marley Gang has been involved in various armed robberies, carjackings and other crimes over the past few months. The gang's members are minors and young adults spread out in different areas of eastern New Orleans, Lt. Ronnie Stevens said recently at a public meeting reviewing crime statistics in that part of town.

At the meeting, Stevens said most of the incidents police think the Marley Gang is responsible for occurred in the NOPD's 7th District, which includes eastern New Orleans. Stevens also said detectives had tied Tuesday's robbery at the corner of Louisiana Avenue and Magazine Street to the gang.

While at least a dozen people openly claim to be in the Marley Gang on Facebook, police wouldn't say how large they believe the group is. "We're still investigating that," Stevens said. "It's all still under investigation."

Lately, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's Office has prosecuted a handful of gangs under obscure state racketeering statutes meant to prevent groups from controlling neighborhoods with violence. There is no telling yet if prosecutors intend to do that with the Marley Gang, but it is a possibility.

The most serious allegations against reported Marley Gang members center around the murder of Valan May, a UNO film arts sophomore who was gunned down while sitting in his car in the 7800 block of Burke Avenue in the east. NOPD Homicide Division Commander Lt. Gary Marchese on Friday said both of the two suspects police have jailed in the slaying -- Carter and 18-year-old Devante Billy -- are members of the gang.

Court documents say one of two witnesses to the shooting saw May on the day of the murder sitting in the driver's seat of his car with an unidentified female passenger. Then, that witness observed Carter walk up to the front passenger window and lean in.

While Carter was leaning in, Billy marched up to May's car, the witness told police. The witness at that point began walking away, and within a few moments, several gunshots rang out, police wrote in documents. A single bullet struck May in the right side of his head, and he died later at a hospital.

After the gunfire, Billy, Carter and the female passenger fled May's car. The witness saw Billy holding a black semiautomatic handgun in his left hand, police noted.

Earlier court paperwork shows that another witness told police that Carter was in the driver's seat, and Billy was in the back seat behind May when the shooting started. There was no mention of a female passenger in that account.

Authorities eventually booked Billy and Carter with second-degree murder. Carter was moved from the juvenile justice system to adult court on Tuesday. On Friday, Marchese said May might have been on Burke Avenue the day he was killed to visit the female passenger.

Probable cause found in Uptown robbery

According to police, Burds and Ransom were involved in a second incident in which they approached two men and two women near the intersection of Louisiana and Magazine. Clutching guns, they demanded the group's wallets and purses, police say.

One man handed over his wallet, and one of the women turned over her purse. But the second woman began screaming for help, so Burds and Ransom jumped into a black Mazda that was waiting for them, NOPD alleges.

Devante Claiborne, 20, is suspected of being the driver of that getaway car. Seated next to him was 29-year-old Devan Stevens, police say.

Police broadcast descriptions of the suspects and the car. An officer on patrol then spotted a vehicle matching the description and tailed the suspects to the 2800 block of South Claiborne Avenue. Officers detained all four suspects.

From the car, police recovered at least one gun believed to have been used in the robbery, plus the man's wallet and the woman's purse, which was missing $26. Later, in one of Burds' pockets and socks, authorities located a bullet that fit the gun in the Mazda as well as the $26 from the woman's purse.

Burds, Ransom, Claiborne and Devan Stevens were all booked with armed robbery. It is not clear if either Claiborne or Devan Stevens is suspected of being in the Marley Gang, but several officials with knowledge of the case said Burds and Ransom were associated with the group.

An ad hoc Juvenile Court judge on Tuesday concluded that there was probable cause for the arrests of Burds and Ransom. Ransom, because he is 14, awaits a hearing in which a judge will decide whether he can be rehabilitated by the juvenile justice system.
richard-frazier.JPG Richard Frazier

Burds' case is in the hands of screeners at the district attorney's office, which is deciding whether to charge the defendant in state court, juvenile court or at all. When the judge said the cops had enough reason to arrest him on Tuesday, Burds blurted out, "I didn't even do these robberies! I didn't even do nothing!"

An officer escorted Burds out of the courtroom. In the hallway, Burds repeated, "I didn't even do nothing!"

Suspect feared Marley Gang would 'shoot his family'

On Sept. 2, police say there was an eastern New Orleans carjacking involving members of the Marley Gang. It didn't generate significant news coverage, but it sheds light on how the group allegedly operates.

A man and woman were sitting in a 2000 Nissan Maxima in the 6800 block of West Coronet Court when two young men approached. One of the men asked the car's occupants for a cigarette lighter. When the man and woman in the car declined, a gun was pointed at them, and they were ordered out of the vehicle.

"Are you serious, you really going to rob us?" the woman said, according to police. One of the robbers then threatened to shoot the woman, so the pair surrendered the car. The carjackers drove down the street, picked up several other individuals and fled.

Police spotted the stolen vehicle about two miles away on Trapier Street by Hayne Boulevard. Witnesses would tell the cops that they noticed several young men get out of the car and park the vehicle under an abandoned carport. Police processed the car and recovered fingerprints from several individuals, including Brent Davis, 17, and Richard Frazier, who turned 18 on Sept. 27. Detectives say the female victim recognized Davis as the cousin of Frazier, a Facebook friend of hers.

Richard Frazier

Police believed Davis and Frazier are in the Marley Gang, court records show. They were both arrested, as was a third alleged Marley member, 15-year-old Quincy Jones, who was transferred from the juvenile system to adult court.

On the day May was killed, a New Orleans grand jury indicted Davis, Frazier and Jones on charges of armed robbery in the West Coronet carjacking. Jones and Frazier were also charged with stealing car keys from a man at gunpoint in the 7000 block of Crowder Boulevard on Sept. 2, records show.

During the investigation, police developed another suspect, and they questioned him. That suspect indicated that he couldn't cooperate with authorities because the Marley Gang would "shoot his family."

Police booked that suspect in the West Coronet carjacking, alleging he acted as a lookout. He has not been charged in Criminal District Court.

'Get rich fast'

Police have not discussed any other details about the Marley Gang. However, Frazier's Facebook and Twitter accounts provide a small glimpse beyond what is in court records.

Frazier, on his Facebook page, says one of his jobs is "hitman" for the Marley Gang. Ubiquitous in his shared photos are the letters "MG" and what appears to be a gang sign: a fist pointing down with the index finger and pinky extended.

"(I) need 2 find a way 2 get rich fast," Frazier posted on Twitter on June 26. A Facebook photo of his reads: "Get down (or) lay down."

05-18-2016, 01:25 PM

Last defendant in Sandy Kaynor-Valan May shootings sentenced to 60 years
updated May 16, 2016 at 6:50 PM

http://media.nola.com/crime_impact/photo/11756080-large.jpg http://image.nola.com/home/nola-media/width960/img/tpphotos/photo/2015/09/14/preservation-3jpg-e605631adb7f0bee.jpg

The final defendant involved in the October 2012 crime spree that left college student Valan May dead and Uptown attorney Sanford "Sandy" Kaynor permanently disabled avoided trial and a possible life sentence Monday (May 16) by taking a plea agreement that will see him imprisoned into his 80s.

Devante "Tae Banger" Billy, 22, agreed to serve 60 years without the possibility of parole in exchange for pleading guilty to armed robbery, the attempted murder of Kaynor, and manslaughter in the shooting death of May, a 24-year-old U.S. Navy veteran and film student attending the University of New Orleans.

Kaynor and May were shot 17 days apart in separate armed robberies committed by Billy and Charles "Mob Chuck" Carter, 19. Carter, who was 16 at the time of the crimes, was convicted in January and sentenced in March to serve life plus 362 years by Criminal District Court Judge Laurie White.


Before Billy was led out of court in shackles, he sat quietly between defense attorneys Michael Kennedy and Miles Swanson listening to statements from his victims' families.

"You may be getting 60 years," Grace Kaynor told him, "but my husband has received a life sentence in hell."

She said her once-vibrant husband, who was wheeled into the courtroom, is bound to his wheelchair, breathes through a tracheotomy tube, cannot speak and has had a kidney, spleen, gall bladder and parts of his intestines removed in the wake of his shooting. She said that she and her husband's two children continue to suffer from anxiety and depression in the wake of his crime.