Street gang leader operating from East Nashville gets life without parole
Shannon Walker's son and daughter were 8 and 3 when the young mother was gunned down near her Los Angeles home.
"She was viscously murdered for a gang and the greed of this so-called enterprise," said Walker's mother, Thea Martin-Gibson.
A Nashville judge sentenced Jamal Shakir, leader of the Rollin' 90s Crips street gang, to life in prison without the possibility of release on Monday for his role in the woman's death. Shakir was convicted of running a drug ring and money laundering operation that stretched from Tennessee to California.
Between 1994 and 1997, authorities said, Shakir killed or was involved in the murder of nine people, including Walker, who was 24 when she was shot in October 1996.
For his crimes, U.S. District Court Judge John T. Nixon handed Shakir 16 sentences of life without parole and nine more sentences of life without parole to be served consecutively with the first 16. He also got four additional sentences totaling 95 years.
If, for some reason, Shakir is released from prison, Nixon ordered that Shakir be placed on probation for the rest of his life.
Federal prosecutors said Shakir, 34, orchestrated the criminal acts from his East Nashville home. Some of the killings were intended to silence potential witnesses or exact revenge on those who had doublecrossed the gang.
Walker had worked as a drug courier for Shakir, according to court records. When a suitcase full of drugs belonging to her was confiscated at the Los Angeles airport, authorities said, Shakir wanted her dead so that he couldn't be tied to the narcotics.
Martin-Gibson raised her daughter's children, who are now 21 and 17, after the murder. Shakir also was convicted of kidnapping Martin-Gibson's brother in a gang-related dispute.
As relatives of his victims spoke Monday, Shakir listened against his will. He had tried to waive his appearance, but Nixon ordered him into the courtroom.
Shakir told the judge that he was convicted on flimsy evidence. He insisted he was not responsible for some of the murders.
"Everybody's come in here speaking of justice being served," Shakir said. "This whole process has been an injustice. … We was railroaded."
He interrupted Martin-Gibson's testimony to protest.
"We are still going on with our lives," she said. "Whether you get the maximum (sentence) or not, you are going to have to face God."
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