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Jury views rap music videos linked to Schuele Boys gang

At one point in the music video, one of the party goers looks at a plate piled high with cash and laughs at the small serving.

"Oh, we got more," he says with a smile. "We got a lot more."

Jurors in a Buffalo murder trial got their first glimpse Monday at a rap music video that prosecutors say is proof of an organized street gang called the Schuele Boys.

The gang, active at one point in the neighborhood south of the Erie County Medical Center, is at the center of a murder case against Roderick Arrington, a suspected Schuele Boys member.

Arrington, also known as "Ra Ra," is accused of killing Quincy Balance, also known as "Shooter," near the corner of Northland and Stevens avenues in August 2012. Prosecutors say the murder was an act of revenge for the murder four days earlier of Schuele Boys associate Walter Davison.

On Monday, the jury in Arrington's case saw the music videos for the first time and heard from a former Schuele Boys member who couldn't appear in the videos because he was in custody at the time.

With the help of prosecutors, Jerome Grant, who is currently serving a 15-year sentence for drug dealing, identified the people in the videos as fellow gang members.

"All the people I just named. Where do you know them from?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang asked at one point.

"Schuele Street," Grant said.

Deadly Buffalo gang boasted of crimes in rap music videos, prosecutors say

Later, when defense lawyer Andrew C. LoTempio tried to suggest his client was simply a boyhood friend from the neighborhood, Grant insisted they were also fellow gang members.

"It is a gang," he said.

But when LoTempio asked if Grant had ever seen Arrington take a gang oath or get a gang tattoo, he answered, "No."

From the start of the trial before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, LoTempio has challenged the allegations that there is a street gang and suggested the music videos are the government's only evidence of an organized criminal enterprise.

Prosecutors say the videos, titled "Front Door" and "Dinner Table," were produced by Gone Entertainment, a record label the Schuele Boys created to boldly tout the gang's triumphs.

The videos show Arrington and other alleged gang members being served plates of cash while dining at an upscale Northtowns steakhouse and later in front of a white Ford Mustang on Schuele Street.

The jury also heard for the first time from an eyewitness who said he was there when Balance was shot and killed.

"Who shot him?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Parisi asked.

"Ra Ra," said Jaquan Johnson, who was 15 at the time and on his bike watching from about 15 feet away.

"Did you see it happen," Parisi asked him.

"Yes," he said.

Johnson, who is currently in jail on an unrelated probation violation, is the first witness to provide a firsthand account of Arrington's encounter with Balance that day five years ago.

He said Arrington had been looking for Balance and was the only one with a gun when they finally crossed paths.

"Did you hear gun shots?" Parisi asked him.

"Yes," he said.

"Did you see gun shots," Parisi asked.

"Yes," he answered.

Marcel Worthy, one of the alleged ring leaders of the Schuele Boys, was also expected to be on trial this week. However, on the day his jury was picked, he pleaded guilty to two felony charges: racketeering conspiracy and narcotics conspiracy.

Worthy also admitted a role in the killing of 16-year-old Kevin Gray in December 2006, but he says someone else pulled the trigger.

Gray was killed after Worthy and several other Schuele Boys confronted him and other teens at a gas station near Grider and East Delavan Avenue and asked them if they were members of the Chelsea Boys, a rival gang, according to prosecutors.

Later that day, a Schuele Boys member fired into the same group of teens on Durham Avenue and Gray, who was not a gang member, was killed.

The trial continues Tuesday.

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