WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CN) – The capital murder trial of Khalid Barnes began here Thursday in Federal Court. Barnes and four others are charged in a 36-count indictment with running a violent drug ring that kidnapped and murdered people. If convicted, Barnes, aka Big Homie, could be sentenced to death for the February 2004 murders of two drug dealers in Manhattan. (This link continues the indictment linked to the text icon.)
Prosecutors say the drug ring operated out of Peekskill, a small town an hour’s drive north of New York. Also charged are Yusuf Barnes and Jamar Smith; the trials of Tuere Barnes and Dawud Barnes – brothers of Khalid – have been severed. Defendant Anthony Paulino is a fugitive.
The six are charged with running a racketeering enterprise since January 1995, dealing crack and powder cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. The February 2004 murders were allegedly a result of a ripoff of three kilos of cocaine. The defendants are also charged with a kidnapping and attempted murder in November 2003, and at least three other attempted murders.
The six men are charged in a superseding indictment that was unsealed Wednesday. The Courthouse News links are to the 2006 indictment.