Feb. 23—After blizzard conditions caused nearly a week-long delay, a racketeering trial involving two defendants continued Monday with testimony from a juvenile charged in the case.
The juvenile, with the street nickname "Tiny," testified via transcript from a previous testimony that Marcus Larod Jackson, 22, of Norman, and Juwan Thomas Square, 23, of Moore, were members of the Money Murder Gang, a group that allegedly committed various crimes from June to December 2018 in Norman and other cities.
Jackson and Square each face counts of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, assault and battery with a deadly weapon, shooting with intent to kill and discharging a weapon into a dwelling (two counts for Jackson, one for Square) and two counts each of possession of a firearm after former felony conviction. Square faces one count of use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon.
"Tiny" pleaded to charges including drug possession, use of a vehicle in the commission of a felony and racketeering; he pled in exchange for a deal to enter youthful offender rehabilitation and have the charge dismissed form upon successful completion of the program. If he doesn't complete the program, he will receive 20 years in jail.
"Tiny," who was 16 when he was arrested in December 2018, testified that he became a Rolling 60s Crip at age 12, and was jumped into MMG several hours after driving a vehicle during a drive-by shooting Oct. 20, 2018. According to five 911 calls played during the trial, witnesses heard anywhere from six to 10 or more gun shots that night.
"Tiny" said he was in juvenile detention placement in Norman in 2018 and was out on a weekend pass Oct. 19-21 in his mother's custody.
Alvin Dorsey, who works at the Cleveland County Office of Juvenile Affairs in Moore, testified that "Tiny" had earned a pass from the group home he was living in, but he was supposed to stay only at his mother's house in her custody.
"Tiny" said his friend from elementary school and another MMG member, Lawrence Lay Jr., 20, invited him to Jackson's apartment hours before the shooting. He testified that while he was there, they drank alcohol and MMG members discussed doing a shooting and became "hyped up."
He said he left the apartment with Dayven Devon Taylor, 20, and Square and drove them to Twisted Oak Circle.
"Tiny" said he drove in the cul de sac, and he saw Square fire a handgun from the front passenger side at a house on the right side. After speeding around the loop, he saw a black handgun pointed out the window toward the house and heard gunshots from the seat behind him, where Taylor was sitting.
"Tiny" denied having a gun during the shooting. They then returned to Jackson's apartment, and Jackson, who he described as the leader, organized his jump-in, or fight, against Square and Taylor.
"Tiny" identified both defendants in court.
During cross examination, Jackson's attorney, Michael J. Amend, said "Tiny" didn't tell officers about going to Jackson's house that night. He replied that he didn't tell them because they didn't ask.
During cross examination by Square's attorney, Larry Monard, "Tiny" said he initially lied to police and told them he didn't know about the shooting and that he wasn't involved.
"Tiny" described the car he used during the drive-by shooting as a small, four-door, older Honda. He also believed a .40-caliber handgun was used in the shooting because he saw one and held one before he left for the shooting.
He also claimed Dijon Fosha Pickett, 22, of Norman, was a leader of MMG. However, Pickett denied MMG membership in his testimony Feb. 12.
"Tiny" testified that he didn't do marijuana, but he sold some.
Norman Police Officer Michael Lauderback testified that when he arrested "Tiny" in December 2018 at his mother's residence — based on two residents' tips — he found a locked digital safe, which "Tiny" unlocked at his mother's urging.
Inside, Lauderback said he found a black and red Gucci bag containing three large bags full of quality marijuana, a wallet with the teen's identification and a silver lid that contained cocaine. He also found Lay's identification under the teen's mattress.
The officer said he saw Lay pull up to the apartment complex in a Honda Civic, along with a passenger holding a grocery bag bundled, and asked them to exit the vehicle. Lay told him the bag contained his marijuana, and both Lay and "Tiny" were taken into custody.
The trial will continue at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the courthouse.
Jamie Berry covers police and court news for The Transcript. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, 366-3532 or @@JamieStitches13.