Cherry Hill men linked to six murders in new indictment

New indictment charges members of Cherry Hill gang “Up Da Hill” with years of violence

A federal grand jury has added eight defendants to the prosecution of alleged Cherry Hill gang members, linking the members to a total of six murders and nine shootings, the U.S. attorney's office announced Monday.

The new charges focus on alleged members of the "Up Da Hill" group, which prosecutors say is one of several feuding gangs in the South Baltimore neighborhood. The group has existed since 1997, prosecutors say.

Federal prosecutors previously charged 26 reputed Cherry Hill gang members in late 2013, and the latest indictment adds new defendants and allegations dating back as far as 2000.

The new allegations link Up Da Hill to a 2007 party at the Arbutus Social Club where gunfire rang out, leaving two men dead and three others injured. At the time, officials said the hall had been rented out by a group from Cherry Hill for a birthday party. But prosecutors now say the event was designed as a "truce party" between Up Da Hill and the rival Down The Hill group.

Prosecutors say Up Da Hill member Donte Thornton, 30, was one of the shooters, though they say three different types of guns were fired and they are unsure which he used. Edward Wayne Johnson, 25, of Cherry Hill and Michael Johnson, 31, of Windsor Mill, were killed at the party.

Also charged in the new indictment is Cornell Harvey, 27, who is awaiting trial for the shooting death of 1-year-old Carter Scott in what prosecutors say was an attempt on Carter's father's life.

That trial is slated to begin in late April, and Scott's shooting is not among the allegations cited in the new gang indictment.

Harvey, whose nickname is "Little Head," is linked in the indictment along with Dominic "Flatline" Evans, to the 2010 killing of Randol Buncombe, 24. Harvey and Evans, 25, were previously charged in Baltimore Circuit Court in Buncombe's murder, but were acquitted at trial.

Lamont Jones, whose nickname is listed in court papers as "Butt Juice," also is accused of stabbing an unnamed victim in 2006 after calling that person a "snitch" as well as killing rival Harry Hicks in 2011 and shooting an unnamed rival in 2012. Jones pleaded guilty to the 2012 shooting and is serving 10 years in prison, court records show.

The indictment also alleges that members committed home invasion, street and bank robberies to fund their narcotics activities.

Attorneys for Harvey, Evans and Jones could not be reached for comment.

jfenton@baltsun.com

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