NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Newport News man will serve multiple life sentences for his role in a gang-related racketeering conspiracy that included multiple murders, attempted murders and drug trafficking.
According to court documents, 24-year-old Martin L. Hunt, along with members of the 36th Street Bang Squad gang, were involved in multiple violent crimes in Hampton and Newport News between March and June 2015.
On April 6, 2015, Hunt and three other members of the 36th Street Bang Squad began shooting at people outside a Newport News home. Two teens, 13-year-old Jada Richardson and 17-year-old Domingo Davis, were killed during this incident.
Casings collected from the April 2015 double-murder scene matched a 9 mm firearm that Hunt had gotten from a family member in March 2015. Court documents say those casings also matched the gun used during a March 15, 2015, shooting of P.D. and A.J. in Newport News, which left both victims with serious and life-threatening injuries. Officials say Hunt bragged afterwards to other gang members that he had gone “op shopping,” meaning shooting at rival gang members.
On June 5, 2015, Hunt and co-conspirators Shaquone Ford, 26, of Newport News; Jamaree Green, 24, of Hampton; and Corey Sweetenburg, 24, of Newport News, drove to a Hampton area high school looking for a rival gang member suspected of murdering a 36th Street Bang Squad member two days earlier.
Once at the location, officials say other 36th Street members and associates joined the group and followed a Hampton City Schools bus in two vehicles, waiting for their target to get off at a stop. When the target got off the bus, the defendants and other gang members and associates chased him into an apartment complex. The defendants carried loaded firearms and planned to kill the target if he was found, which he was not.
According to court documents, Hunt used social media to taunt rival gang members, acquire firearms and brag about the exploits of the 36th Street Bang Squad.
On December 10, 2019, after a seven-week jury trial, Hunt was convicted on 11 counts of crimes in aid of racketeering, including two murders, three attempted murders and using a firearm in each crime. He was sentenced Thursday to life in prison, followed by two consecutive life sentences and an additional 25 years.
“As the evidence demonstrated during a seven-week trial, the defendant’s actions displayed a chilling neglect for human life, safety, and the rule of law,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Our Office is grateful to our law enforcement partners and trial team, who worked for years to bring the defendant and his co-conspirators to justice and stop them from further threatening our communities with violence.”
In addition to Hunt, a federal jury convicted six co-defendants in the same trial for their roles in the racketeering conspiracy. Those six co-defendants currently are scheduled to be sentenced in the next three months from June 10 through August 2.