Thursday, October 18, 2007

Justice After All? Gang-banger won't snitch, and feels judge's wrath

Posted By on Thu, Oct 18, 2007 at 5:02 PM

An ounce or two of justice may be on the way in the disturbing case of Akron's V-not street gang. This gang of wannabe bad-asses is known for intimidating witnesses who agree to testify against its members A bit of background: In January, 18-year-old Shawrica Lester was heading to her car from Cage, a teen dance club, when she was caught in the crossfire of a V-not gang fight. She was shot in the back twice, then left to bleed to death. Akron police quickly gathered up five members of the V-not outfit, including Tyree Feaster and his buddy, Recardo Travis. Summit County prosecutors then rounded up a steady roster of witnesses to Lester's tragic murder. That's when V-not got busy, sending death threats to anyone who dared testify against its members. They were so bold as to knock on the doors of Lester's family and friends, claiming they were collecting money for a defense fund. Their antics worked in May, when two witnesses no-showed for Feaster's hearing. Without their testimony, prosecutors had no case. They quickly offered Feaster a plea bargain -- four years in juvy in exchange for his testimony against Travis. Feaster accepted, seemingly bringing an end to an ordeal that proved that it doesn't take a powerhouse attorney to out maneuver the law -- just a couple of illiterate teens with a Scarface fetish. But then on Tuesday, our long-held theory proved true: these thugs are as completely moronic as we thought. As Travis' trial got underway, Feaster, predictably, decided to turn back on his plea bargain and refused to take the stand against his crony. Carmello Anthony and Cam'ron would surely be proud, but Judge Brenda Burnham Unruh found Feaster in contempt of court, then reminded him that she has the authority to impose a life sentence until he is finally willing to testify. Hopefully she stands her ground, and justice prevails after all. -- Denise Grollmus

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