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Thursday, 6 October 2011

main leaders of a South Side gang with members as young as 12 years old were arraigned Wednesday in Vanderburgh County Superior Court on criminal gang-related charges.

15:32 |

Four Evansville teens who city police say are the main leaders of a South Side gang with members as young as 12 years old were arraigned Wednesday in Vanderburgh County Superior Court on criminal gang-related charges.


Randell A. Francis, 19, Dalarrius T. Jackson, 18, John F. Robertson, 16, and Devontae K. Clardy, 16, were each charged with criminal gang activity and two counts of criminal gang recruitment, all class D felonies that automatically allow juveniles to be charged as adults.

Jackson was additionally charged with battery resulting in bodily injury, which is typically a class D felony, but it became a class A felony because prosecutors said he committed the act as a member of a criminal gang.

Devontae Clardy

Devontae Clardy

Randell Francis

Randell Francis

John Robertson

John Robertson

Dalarrius Jackson

Dalarrius Jackson

All four entered preliminary pleas of not guilty, were appointed public defenders and had their bonds set with extra conditions that they not have contact with any gangs if they post bond.

Jackson's bond was set at $1,500 cash. Francis and Robertson have $1,000 cash bonds. Clardy was the only one to have his bond successfully reduced to $500, and but he has an additional condition that he must live with his grandmother and attend school upon release, according to court records.

Police say the four are the main leaders of "LA Zombies," a group with more than 20 members that police say have access to firearms and previously engaged in shootings with rival gang "Murda Squad."

Evansville police have been investigating gangs in the Linwood and Adams avenues area for six months, according to police affidavits. They recently developed two confidential informants within the "LA Zombies."

Police said the two, who are juveniles, obtained credible and reliable information about the inner workings of the gang.

According to the affidavit, the two sources told police that a few of the members have guns and that they've been involved in shootings. They also described the gang's rituals.

Confidential Source No. 1, or CS1, told police about "beat ins," in which prospective gang members get battered by current gang members or are placed into a fight with another person for initiation. Battering or fights also take place for those members who wanted to leave.

CS2 told police that beat ins occurred at Sweetser Avenue housing projects. CS2 said the four leaders were involved.

CS2 also mentioned that there was one individual above them in the gang's hierarchy, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit said Francis was on probation for class D felony theft, resulting from a plea agreement on a burglary charge.

The four had court dates set: Francis on Nov. 9 at 1 p.m.; Jackson on Nov. 15 at 9:30 a.m.; Robertson on Nov. 9 at 9:30 a.m.; Clardy on Nov. 15 at 9:30 a.m.

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