Maple Shade man guilty of killing girl in gang case

Muriah Ashley Huff , 18, was a student.
Muriah Ashley Huff , 18, was a student.
Posted: November 16, 2012

Clive "Live" Hinds, a distinguished graduate of a New Jersey military-style academy, considered joining the armed forces but first enrolled at Burlington County College to get a degree.

But he also joined a violent street gang that paved a different future: A likely two decades in prison.

Hinds, 20, of Maple Shade, was found guilty Tuesday of murdering Muriah Ashley Huff, 18, of Cinnaminson. But in an unusual verdict, the Camden County Superior Court jury decided that he acted under duress, which automatically reduced the charge to manslaughter.

The jury also acquitted Hinds of murdering Michael "Doc Money" Hawkins, 23, also of Maple Shade. Had he been convicted of two murders, he faced the possibility of two life sentences.

"The guy was looking at spending the rest of his life in prison," Hinds' attorney, Edward Crisonino, said. "That's a scary proposition for anyone."

Camden County Assistant Prosecutor Christine Shah said the jury heard a lot of testimony, including Hinds' confession, and spent more than five days deliberating.

Jurors "obviously worked hard," Shah said. "I'm satisfied with the verdict because the defendant still faces a lengthy term of incarceration."

Hinds is the son of Jamaican immigrants who encouraged him to attend college after he received his GED with distinction from New Jersey Youth ChalleNGe Academy, sponsored by the New Jersey National Guard and located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

Speaking to prosecutors in 2010, Hinds asked whether he could return to school. At that time, his mother, Andrie, told them he was a "child of God" and urged him to tell the truth.

His mother left the interrogation room, and Hinds confessed.

In 2010, Hinds was a member of the Lueders Park Piru Bloods, a loosely knit offshoot of the violent Bloods gang. Hawkins was friendly with the Bloods but also was a member of the rival Crips.

On Feb. 22, Hawkins and his girlfriend, Huff, stopped by a Berkley Street rowhouse in Camden. Gang members shot, stabbed and beat Hawkins so severely that nearly every bone in his face was broken. Hines admitted that he helped beat Hawkins during a frenzy that included 10 gang members.

Huff, a cosmetology student at the Burlington County Institute of Technology, was not in either gang.

Hines told prosecutors that he gave the youngest gang member, 14-year-old Shatara "Feisty" Carter, a jump rope to strangle Huff. He helped Carter as Huff fought them.

Crisonino argued that Hinds acted under duress, fearing that he would be killed if he did not go along with gang leader Kuasheim "Presto" Powell.

Powell pleaded guilty and in a deal with prosecutors was sentenced to 30 years. Carter, in a similar deal, was sentenced to 20 years for aggravated manslaughter.

Crisonino said Hinds was especially scared of Powell. The day before the slayings, Hinds learned that Powell had shot two Pennsauken men in anger.

On the day of the slayings, Powell pulled his gun again, this time shooting Hawkins several times in the head.

"Presto had ordered [gang members] to kill Huff because she was a witness," Crisonino said, noting that Hinds realized he was also a witness. "The only way [Hinds] could protect himself from getting killed was at least to pretend to be going along with what happened."

In his confession, Hinds said that if he did not do as expected, "I would be the third body."

In addition to manslaughter, Hinds was found guilty of conspiracy in both deaths, hindering apprehension because he destroyed evidence, and weapons offenses.

Hinds faces from 20 to 70 years. He has no criminal history and is unlikely to be sentenced on the higher end, officials said.

"He got justice," Crisonino said. "He's going to have to pay for what he did, but his role and actions in this gang were much less than Shatara or Presto, or any of the other defendants that pled guilty."

Eight gang members have been found guilty. Two more are scheduled for trial.


Contact Barbara Boyer at 856-779-3838, bboyer@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @BBBoyer.

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