Bloods Kingpin Admits 2006 Long Branch Murder
An admitted "five-star general" in the Sex Money Murder set of the Bloods from Jackson has a February 27 sentencing date for a 2006 gunshot death in Long Branch.
In Freehold today, Valdo Thompson, 28, also known as "SB" and "Soldier Boy," pleaded guilty to a first-degree counts of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and racketeering, according to information from the office of acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Grammiccioni.
Prosecutors will recommend a 40-year prison term, with a requirement of serving 30 years before parole consideration could begin.
The death of Michael Montgomery - a confirmed member of the Brick City Brims set of the Bloods - on Hendrickson Street was one component in a reign of terror and mayhem that swept through Monmouth and Ocean Counties at this time seven years ago. The actual target, Keith Logan - a confirmed member of the G-Shine set of the Bloods - escaped with a single gunshot wound to the abdomen.
Investigations began November 21, 2006 into crimes that erupted just before Thanksgiving Day that year and continued until December 30. It resulted in a 24-count indictment by a state grand jury in Trenton against Thompson and five others: Zackery Butts, a-k-a "Zoo," 28, of Freehold; Paul Lewis, a-k-a "P-Lew," 25, of Long Branch; Quemere McClendon, a-k-a- "Tragedy," 27, of Long Branch; Darnell Stovall, a-k-a "D-Nell," 26, of Long Branch; and Carl Holdren, a-k-a "Killa," 25, of Lakewood.
The indictment covered a spate of gang-influenced crimes in Monmouth and Ocean that included two murders in Long Branch within a month's time. It followed an extensive probe that included police from Lakewood and Long Branch, New Jersey State Troopers and investigators of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's and State Attorney General's offices.
McClendon, Stovall and Lewis were charged with the December 12, 2006 murder of Keith Mason in Long Branch. Thompson, McClendon and Holdren were charged with Montgomery's murder and the attempted killing of Logan in Long Branch the previous November 21.
Thompson and Holdren also faced counts of conspiraccy to commit murder and attempting to murder Michael Stallworth on December 28 of that year in Lakewood. Butts was charged with possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. The involvement of all six with the Bloods opened up the charges of racketeering and conspiracy, said investigators.
Prosecutors say that Thompson implicated McClendon and Holdren in the Montgomery-Logan shootings. McClendon pleaded guilty to both and was convicted at trial for the death of Keith Mason on December 14, 2006.
According to prosecutors, the Mason murder was an outgrowth of a home-invasion-type armed robbery planned by McClendon, Stovall and Lewis against Mason at his Second Avenue dwelling in Long Branch. Investigators said that McClendon shot Mason once in the chest in full view of the victim's young son, who wasn't hurt but who was left with the dying man as all three fled.
Holdren was convicted at trial in August of this year for the Montgomery-Logan shootings and the attempted murder of Stallworth. He was found guilty of first-degree counts of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and racketeering, along with second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He's scheduled to be sentenced December 19.
McClendon was convicted in January 2011 for the murder of Mason, found guilty of first-degree charges of felony murder and armed robbery along with second-degree counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and certain persons not to possess a firearm, and a third-degree charge of endangering the welfare of a child
In May 2011, he was given an aggregate sentence of 55 years in a state prison with no parole consideration for 40 years. The following December, McClendon took a guilty plea to a first-degree charge of conspiracy to murder Logan. His sentence for the plea, handed down in February 2012, was a concurrent 20 years in prison with a requirement to serve at least 85 percent of the term before parole eligibility under New Jersey's No Early Release Act.
Also in May 2011, Stovall pleaded guilty to a first-degree charge of armed robbery in the Mason case, along with second-degree counts of conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary, burglary, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child. He was sentenced to 22 years in August of that year and must serve 85 percent of it before parole consideration under the No Early Release Act.
Lewis accepted a guilty plea in March 2009 to a first-degree armed robbery charge in the Mason investigation, as well as second-degree counts of conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary, burglary, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and a third-degree charge of endangering the welfare of a child. He received a 15-year sentence in August 2011 and is required to serve 85 percent of the time before parole eligibilityunder the No Early Release Act.
Evidence at Holdren's trial showed that New Jersey State Police, using a court-authorized wiretap, learned of Stallworth's impending murder in Lakewood at a point at the end of 2006 when tensions flared between rival sets of the Bloods.
State Troopers and Lakewood Police officers intercepted the car Butts was driving and found inside it a loaded .45-caliber handgun.
In his disclosures today, Thompson confirmed what officers had determined, that the gun was being delivered to Holdren. Thompson admitted directing Butts to transport the weapon.
Butts pleaded guilty to two second-degree weapons-possession counts in June 2008. In February 2011 he was sentenced to eight years in state prison with four years of parole ineligibility.
Grammiccioni's office notes that all the plea agreements were reached with the consultation and agreement of the victims' families.