GA Prison Gang Indicted for Murder and Racketeering: Full Report (Video)

Introduction

A gang operating from within Smith State Prison in Georgia has been implicated in a wide range of criminal activities, including smuggling contraband and orchestrating murders. The recent indictment reveals disturbing details about their operations and a botched hit that led to the death of an innocent man.

Contraband Crisis in Georgia Prisons

The Georgia Department of Corrections is facing a severe contraband crisis, with inmates smuggling drugs, cell phones, and even luxury clothing into the prison. The department’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is constantly battling this issue, as inmates encourage their co-conspirators to apply for jobs within the prison system, creating a continuous cycle of corruption.

Botched Hit Leads to Wrongful Death

The gang’s criminal activities took a deadly turn when a hitman, sent by gang members Nathan Weeks and Keisha Janae Jones, killed 88-year-old Bobby Kicklighter instead of the intended target, a corrections officer. Kicklighter, a respected member of the Glenville and Tattnall County community, was mistakenly murdered when the hitman went to the wrong house. The officer, who lived next door to Kicklighter, was known for his integrity and resistance to corruption.

Extensive Criminal Network Uncovered

The indictment reveals that the gang’s operations extended beyond the prison walls, involving multiple murders and extensive racketeering activities. Nathan Weeks and Christopher Reginald Sumlin Jr. were accused of malice murder in Kicklighter’s death. Additionally, Weeks and others were implicated in the murders of Jerry Lee Davis and Jessica Girling, a former corrections officer terminated for smuggling contraband.

Corruption and Violence as Tools of Control

The gang’s influence within the prison was maintained through financial incentives and threats of violence. Inmates would offer guards money to smuggle contraband, and when that failed, they resorted to threats and violence. Weeks, who was serving time for armed robberies, and his associates orchestrated these operations with the help of outside facilitators like Jones.

Legal Proceedings and Defense

The indictment, supported by the Georgia Prosecuting Attorney’s Council, charges Weeks, Sumlin, Jones, and Ariel Deshay Murphy with multiple counts of murder and racketeering. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) played a crucial role in uncovering the gang’s activities. The state’s public defender system is providing legal representation to Jones, Murphy, and Sumlin, with assurances of zealous defense.

Conclusion

The case highlights the severe challenges faced by the Georgia Department of Corrections in tackling corruption and contraband smuggling within its facilities. The GBI’s investigation has exposed a dangerous criminal network that extended its reach beyond prison walls, leading to tragic consequences.

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