Prosecutor: Kaboni Savage threatened snitches with their mothers' deaths

Posted: May 01, 2013

IT ALL STARTED with a pact, said Assistant U.S. Attorney John M. Gallagher.

" 'If any of you snitch, then it's the life of your mother,' " said Gallagher, quoting former drug kingpin Kaboni Savage's alleged words to his associates, including Eugene "Twin" Coleman.

"With that pact, the seeds of the fate of the Coleman family were sown," Gallagher said yesterday during closing arguments in the federal murder-and-racketeering trial of Savage, 38.

The former North Philadelphia druglord's alleged crimes include the 2004 firebombing of Coleman's home, which killed six of Coleman's friends and relatives, after he had agreed to testify against Savage in a 2005 drug case.

The current 10-week trial began wrapping up this week with prosecutors' closing arguments yesterday. Gallagher painstakingly reconstructed the 12 murders that Savage is charged with committing or ordering from behind bars, including the deaths of five rival drug dealers, a man who backed into his car and the victims of the 2004 firebombing.

Prosecutors say Savage's sister, Kidada Savage, 30; Robert Merritt, 31; and Lamont Lewis, 35, carried out the firebombing at Coleman's family home on Oct. 9, 2004, that killed his mother, his 15-month-old son and four others. Merritt and Kidada Savage are being tried with Kaboni Savage, along with associate Steven Northington, 40. Lewis has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for a lighter sentence.

After reconstructing the other six murders, Gallagher had just begun to recount the firebombing of the Coleman family home when the trial recessed for the day. Closing arguments are scheduled to continue today. U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick told jurors they could begin deliberations later this week.


On Twitter: @AliMarieWatkins

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