Jimmy Henchman Murder-For-Hire Trial Part 3
As the early stages of the trial progressed it was obvious the early set up by the government was over, and the meat of their case was now going to be presented to the jury efficiently as possible.
Khalil Abdullah was called to the stand, and his relationship with Jimmy is a key component to every charge Jimmy faces.
Khalil Abdullah is a seasoned hustler, someone who has been playing the drug game since he was a teenager. In order for the jury to believe Abdullah, they have to take into consideration a few things.
Khalil, like Mohammed Stewart, has a storied criminal past, one that not only includes gun violence but prior narcotics charges.
In the investigation that I undertook when I produced the documentary series, "Unjust Justice" I met personally with Khalil in Harlem.
My hope was to hear a different perspective or his side of the story. For the record, I did not record our encounter or take notes. Khalil was not sure he wanted to be a part of the film, and he decided not to.
It was obvious from the conversation that there was no love lost between Jimmy and Khalil.
In the drug kingpin trial, the government did a great job of describing a pyramid structure of Jimmy’s so-called drug organization. In that pyramid, Khalil was below Jimmy and if you believe the government Khalil answered and only moved if Jimmy told him to.
In our conversation, it was apparent, that Khalil was equal, and in his mind, his trafficking was on par with Jimmy. The truth always falls into some grey area, and in this story, there is a ton of grey.
Khalil and Jimmy were introduced at a Mosque in Harlem.
In transcripts and other sources that I talked to in respect to the drug conspiracy trial, both Abdullah and a West Coast gangster Henry “Black” Butler were the governments star witnesses.
How the operation was managed, how the hierarchy was established if you believe the government it was a top-down drug corporation.
But, there is another explanation.
With some of the sources I spoke with, the crew operated more like a cocaine investment club. Each hustler, staking his claim to parcels or orders of drugs, that were parceled out.
Money was grouped together, and there was a lot of freelancing among the so-called players. In the current murder trial, the government again has used both Khalil and Stewart to paint a portrait of mayhem.
Funny enough, no one has spoken about any violence in regards to the drug operation, the only violence comes from this feud between G-Unit and Czar Entertainment record labels.
So the government is peppering questions about drug dealing, and then Hip-Hop violence.
To the jury, the testimony of Khalil Abdullah must have been an alternate reality, one that they probably are not familiar with.
Car bombings, shootings, the intimidation of witnesses. The shooting of houses, to the average citizen, must seem like moronic and unnecessary considering at the time, most of these guys - according to their own testimony - were making hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars, traveling to Miami, and LA, and in the case of Jimmy to Europe.
If there was violence or shootings, you would make the assumption that at least it would involve retribution in the course of running a drug operation.
The proceedings at times take on a surreal bent.
Both the prosecution and the defense ask questions, where at times, it seems the definition of what the truth is, has completely gone out the window.
For the last two years, I have examined, investigated and talked at length with many of the players, and at times I find myself straining to really figure out where the truth is anymore. I guess the only people who really know the facts are both Khalil and Jimmy, and for everyone else, we will never know.
As Khalil Abdullah continued his testimony, the key part of it has to do with a meeting that took place at Mobay Restaurant in Harlem.
At this restaurant, Khalil describes an encounter between Jimmy and himself. The restaurant was crowded, so they didn’t eat.
Khalil states at this encounter, Jimmy told him about the conspiracy to murder Lowell Fletcher. For this to be believed, you have to ask a few questions.
Would Jimmy talk about a murder at a public restaurant? Would he trust Khalil enough to give him this information? Why would he randomly boast about the murder, knowing that at any time, that information could come back to haunt him?
On cross-examination, David Touger did a good job asking a very pointed question...if Khalil even remembered the exact date that they met.
He did not.
He also asked if there were any travel records that Khalil provided the government as he stated that he traveled from Atlanta back to New York City, to take this meeting among others.
With Touger’s questioning, the courtroom took on a combative tone at times and comedic also. This is the fourth time Khalil has testified, so by this time he is very comfortable sitting in the chair.
He also is very calculating, if not savvy. Touger did rattle him at times, but his arrogance and his annoyance were palpable.
In my meeting with Abdullah, it was clear he felt very strongly that he had to become a government witness because, in his words, Jimmy was going to testify against him.
So he felt it was a race to proffer and get a better deal.
The only problem with that logic, is that is has become glaringly obvious, the government had a vendetta against Jimmy, there would be no time that they would accept Khalil over convicting Jimmy.
On redirect, Abdullah was again clear on his story about Mobay, and the implication Jimmy told him what happened. In Abdullah’s testimony, there was also the story on how Jimmy paid the murder crew and that was done not with cash, but the agreement of two kilos of cocaine.
If you believe Abdullah, when Jimmy and he went to tally their weekly drug expenses, Jimmy told him to give a kilo of cocaine to the members of the murder crew. Which at that time, on the street would have been worth at least thirty-thousand dollars.
Was that the price agreed upon? Would someone murder for a kilo, that they then, in turn, have to sell?
If I was a jury member, I would be confused, I have studied this stuff and til to this day, the number of individuals involved, the nicknames, the inside baseball of Hip-Hop violence and feuds, I would be asking a lot of questions and hopefully keeping very detailed notes.
The jurors don’t have the luxury of Google or reading transcripts, so the presentation by the government has to be precise and to date, it has not.
Khalil was subpoenaed by the government to testify, he did not go willingly to the stand, but not that it mattered.
When I met him, he felt that he was done with his obligation, but with the Feds, you are never done, and when you have a cooperation agreement, the heavy hand of the DEA, FBI, or United States Attorney is like a noose around your neck.
If you piss them off, they can and will make your life miserable.
With the end of the day, came the witness that has not previously testified in any prior proceedings.
Jason Williams, Jimmy’s driver, jack of all trades took the stand, and his presence was the polar opposite of what Mohammed Stewart and Khalil Abdullah brought to the courtroom.
Both Stewart and Khalil, they were hustlers, they were arrogant at times, they were for all intents and purposes gangsters.
When Jason entered the courtroom, his presence was not that.
He was meek, reserved, and although he is thirty-five, he came off like a stunted youth. His answers were very non-committal, almost shy and I wonder if that will play differently for the assembled jury.
If Touger, does not do an incredible job on cross-examination, I think Williams could be a witness the jury actually believes.