Prosecutor: Gang Members Killed Lake Wylie Couple to Prevent Them from Testifying
WBTV, April 22, 2015
Six gang members have been charged in the October 2014 killings of a business couple in Lake Wylie. Three of those members reportedly robbed a store owned by the couple months earlier and were attempting keep the couple from testifying.
Six members of the “United Blood Nation” (UBN) are charged in the killing of Debbie and Doug London, according to court documents. They could receive the death penalty.
Deputies say 61-year-old Debbie London and 63-year-old Doug London were found shot to death in their Tioga Road home on October 23, 2014. The couple’s son, Daniel London, found the couple and called 911.
After an FBI raid of Charlotte’s UBN, 12 defendants were charged in a racketeering operation conspiracy.
Four of the people charged in connection with the case were already in custody. Two other suspects were arrested Wednesday.
On Oct. 1, Hartley and Johnson conducted surveillance of The Mattress Warehouse of Pineville on South Boulevard in an attempt to locate the Londons and kill them, court documents state. They not only wanted to prevent the Londons from testifying, but documents say they wanted to retaliate against the couple for previous court appearances related to the robbery case.
Doug London tried to defend the store and his life, police said, when he shot and hit one of the suspects, later identified as Cureton. Cureton went to a local hospital and was arrested on state robbery charges.
That’s when Rose said the defendants began to exchange correspondence and conspire with each other to plan the murder of Douglas London, “the only eyewitness to the robbery.”
Doug and Debbie London were popular, long-time residents on Tioga Road. Relatives and friends said there wasn’t anything in their lives that invited the violence that claimed their lives.
Special Agent John Strong said Wednesday that the gang threat in North Carolina is “very very strong.”
Strong said the United Blood Nation gang is “part of a web of violence that reached across state lines without regard for innocent lives.”