Accused Norman Gang Leader Appears In Court, Maintains Innocence In Statewide Crime Spree
CLEVELAND COUNTY, Oklahoma - Marcus Jackson, the alleged leader of the “Money Murder Gang,” has pleaded not guilty to racketeering, and several other charges.
Both Jackson and another alleged member, Dayven Taylor, were arraigned Wednesday, September 18 in Cleveland County.
That now means a jury trial is pending.
Jackson's Attorney Michael Amend said he believes there is some evidence that will vindicate his client. He intends to file a motion to dismiss charges before the case heads to trial.
Amend said his client was involved in another gang, but not the leader of the Money Murder Gang. He said the MMG is more of an association, not an organized criminal group.
“We are not dealing with a mass gang like maybe you deal with in Oklahoma City,” said Amend. “To best describe it, it would be a clique of young adults more than anything.”
News 9 was the first to report this story in April.
At that time, eight people, ages 21 and below were arrested. Various alleged members were charged with everything from shootings, robberies, police chases and racketeering.
That last charge could mean serving 30 years to life in prison.
“It's a very powerful charge. It's a charge that's targeting individuals that come together to further their criminal effort,” said Cleveland County First Assistant District Attorney Travis White.
Amend said many of the original co-defendants have taken plea deals. He added his client, along with a few others, maintain their innocence.
“The allegations are that Mr. Jackson was essentially in charge of this gang. I think the evidence is going to show that he was friends with these guys, he hung out with these guys. But not that he ordered them to commit shootings,” Amend said. “I think the evidence that is going to come out is going to show that there were inconsistencies presented in the eyewitness testimony at preliminary hearing.”
Prosecutors are prepared to move forward.
Investigators from both local and state agencies said they collected physical evidence at various crime scenes that support their case.
In a 71-page court document, those investigators alleged that the MMG recruited children.
Amend said his client was not involved in that either.
Following the initial arrests, sources confirmed to News 9 that law enforcement officials found pictures of children pledging their allegiance to the gang on social media.
“I don't know if I saw any evidence of recruitment by Mr. Jackson. Again, I think these guys grew up together,” said Amend.
While some defendants will be in court in October, those who could face jury trials will be back in court in January.