Crime

Alleged UBN gang members make first court appearance in Lake Wylie slayings

dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

Two reputed gang members made their first court appearance Monday in connection with the deaths of a Lake Wylie couple.

Briana Johnson and Malcolm Hartley are two of six alleged members of the United Blood Nation charged in the killing of Doug and Deborah London.

The Londons were gunned down in their Lake Wylie home last October after three gang members tried to rob a mattress store they owned along South Boulevard five months earlier, authorities said. Prosecutors say the gang was trying to prevent Doug London from testifying against them in the robbery.

On Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cayer read the charges against Johnson and Hartley in the federal courthouse in uptown Charlotte.

Prosecutors accuse Hartley, 21, of firing the shots that killed the Londons. Johnson, 19, drove the car to and from the London’s home, an indictment says.

They are both charged with murder in the aid of racketeering, use of a firearm during a violent act and conspiracy to participate in racketeering. Hartley is also accused of possession of a firearm by a felon.

He and Johnson face the death penalty.

They are among 12 alleged UBN members who were indicted in April. In a sweep covering two parts of the state, the FBI and other law enforcement groups arrested them.

A sprawling East Coast criminal network with a history of violence and other crimes across the Charlotte region, UBN has been linked to the 2013 killing of Kwamne Clyburn, 18. He was shot to death in a southwest side park for falsely claiming to be a member of the UBN cell, according to documents in the case.

Clasen-Kelly: 704 358-5027

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