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BGF gang hitman sentenced to life behind bars in 2013 killing, conspiracy

Kenneth Jones has been sentenced to life in prison in connection with shootings in his role as a hitman for the Black Guerrilla Family, according to authorities.
Kenneth Jones has been sentenced to life in prison in connection with shootings in his role as a hitman for the Black Guerrilla Family, according to authorities. (Courtesy Baltimore States Attorney's Office / Baltimore Sun)

A Black Guerrilla Family gang hitman convicted earlier this summer of carrying out execution-style shootings in East Baltimore as part of a broad gang conspiracy was sentenced to life behind bars.

Kenneth "Slay" Jones, 29, on Thursday was given a life sentence for first-degree murder and a consecutive life sentence for attempted first-degree murder, according to online court records. The charges were part of a sweeping gang case in November 2013 that saw charges filed against 48 defendants.

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Jones also received a concurrent 5-year sentence for conspiracy to murder, and three 5-year consecutive sentences each for the criminal gang activity, use of a handgun in committing a crime, and possession of a gun as a prohibited felon, according to court records.

Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's office announced on Tuesday the sentencing, which took place last week.

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The conviction came after a jury found the gang's reputed leader, Gerald Johnson, not guilty of all charges and 13 other defendants in the case went free.

Twenty-seven of the alleged BGF members charged pleaded guilty. Only a handful of those convicted have received more than five years in prison.

The case revolved around the BGF gang trying to "establish a BGF regime in an area near the Greenmount Cemetery" starting as early as 2005, prosecutors said.

They said Jones shot and killed Gregory Rochester in January 2007 after rumors circulated that Rochester was cooperating with law enforcement. Jones was charged with attempted murder in the 2011 shooting of Perry Johnson. Jones was also charged with shooting Lamontae Smith in 2013.

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