Kevin Quick Murder Case Day 15: Court Hears Closing Arguments
Closing arguments are underway in Roanoke, where six alleged gang members linked to the death of Waynesboro Police Reserve Captain Kevin Wayne Quick are on trial.
ROANOKE, Va. (WVIR) - After weeks of testimony, a jury in Roanoke will soon be deliberating the fate of six alleged gang members.
Prosecutors have argued this racketeering case stems from a crime spree that came to a head with the abduction and murder of Waynesboro Police Reserve Captain Kevin Wayne Quick.
Four suspects - Daniel Mathis, Shantai Shelton, Mersadies Shelton and Travis Bell (aka Kweli Uhuru) - are charged with kidnapping, murder, racketeering and robbery in connection to the death of the 45-year-old officer.
Anthony Stokes and Halisi Uhuru (aka Gert Arthur Wright) are not charged in the murder, but are accused of being the gang's ring leaders in a racketeering conspiracy.
All of the defendants are believed to be members of the 99 Goon Syndikate.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Kavanaugh pleaded with jurors to find the defendants guilty, saying, "We can hold them accountable for victimizing and preying on the innocent."
Prosecutors took over two hours to present their closing arguments to the federal court Monday morning. They say the 99 Goon Syndikate is responsible for more than a dozen robberies across central Virginia in the fall of 2013.
Finally came the night of January 31, 2014, when Quick was kidnapped outside the Turtle Creek Apartments in Albemarle County. His body was found a week later in a rural area Goochland County, the same place cell phone pings put at least two of the defendants the night of his disappearance.
Prosecutors reminded the jury of the DNA evidence found in Quick's stolen Toyota 4-Runner, and the eyewitness accounts of Mathis scrubbing the vehicle with bleach.
The prosecution told jurors about a strict militaristic code of the alleged gang, and leaned heavily on testimony from convicted members of the gang to help prove their case. The defense says that testimony is completely unreliable, and maintains neither the robberies nor Quick's murder had anything to do with advancing the gang.
The attorney for Shantai Shelton calls the crimes "disorganized lawlessness" centered around getting money or drugs, but not organized crime.
The court also heard from the attorney for Bell, who reminded jurors that the standard for finding the defendants guilty is that they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. He says that means even if they have slight questions about the integrity of the government's witnesses, they have to find the suspects not guilty.
Prosecutors will get to make rebuttal arguments. Then, Judge Glen E. Conrad will instruct jurors before this case heads to deliberations.