O Block jurors may view FBG Duck ‘dying declaration’ video, federal judge rules

Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/TNS
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Jurors in a federal gang murder trial will be allowed to see video that depicts the last moments in the life of slain South Side drill rapper FBG Duck, a federal judge ruled Monday.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Martha Pacold came on the eve of opening statements in the trial for the six men charged in the August 2020 broad daylight killing of FBG Duck in the Gold Coast neighborhood.

Pacold’s ruling allows prosecutors to show the jury bodyworn camera footage that shows FBG Duck’s “dying declaration” in footage collected by one of the first Chicago police officers to respond to the shooting scene. Prosecutors said the video depicts the CPD officer telling FBG Duck — whose real name was Carlton Weekly — to keep speaking in an effort to keep him conscious. The officer also asks Weekly where he was shot, and he responds, “I’m hit everywhere.”

“Just because it’s graphic doesn’t mean that the prejudicial effect necessarily outweighs the probative value,” Pacold said in announcing her ruling. “It is graphic, it is disturbing, that’s just the nature of the alleged crime.”

Keith Spielfogel, an attorney for Christopher Thomas, one of the six defendants, argued that the video was “totally irrelevant” because “it’s got nothing to do with the cause or circumstances of death.”

Opening statements are scheduled for Tuesday. The trial is expected to last up to two months.

FBG Duck — a member of the STL faction of Gangster Disciples — was hit with 16 bullets as he shopped on East Oak Street on Aug. 4, 2020. His killing came just weeks after he released a song entitled “Dead Bitches,” a diss track that mocked the deaths of several affiliates of O Block.

The men charged in Weekly’s death are all purportedly members of O Block, a rival faction of Black Disciples based in the Parkway Garden housing complex at 64th Street and King Drive.

Charged with murder in furtherance of racketeering are: Charles Liggins, 32; Kenneth Roberson, 29; Christopher Thomas, 24; Marcus Smart, 24; Tacarlos Offerd, 32; and Ralph Turpin, 34. Each defendant faces up to life in prison if convicted.

On the afternoon of Aug. 4, 2020, Weekly was shopping on Oak Street when he was spotted by Turpin, who allegedly alerted gang associates, according to prosecutors.

Surveillance images captured the other five defendants jumping into two cars in Parkway Gardens and heading to the Gold Coast, where they shot Weekly 16 times and wounded two others, according to the charges.

According to prosecutors, the gang publicly claimed responsibility for acts of violence — including Weekly’s slaying — and used social media and rap lyrics to boast about killing rivals to increase their criminal enterprise.

Prosecutors have said King Von, an O Block-affiliated rapper, put a bounty on Weekly’s head after the release of the diss track. King Von, whose real name was Dayquan Bennett, was shot to death in Atlanta in November 2020.