The accused chief of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang committed crimes with “reckless abandon” and in “spectacular fashion” in order to bolster his reputation on Chicago’s West Side, a prosecutor told jurors Monday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Storino spent the entire day laying out the evidence against Labar “Bro Man” Spann as closing arguments got underway in Spann’s racketeering trial.
“The point was to be feared on the streets,” Storino said.
The prosecutor began his argument by playing a recording of Spann talking about what he called “some old Bro Man sh—.” Storino told jurors, “You have seen what it means to do old Bro Man sh—. That is what it looks like.”
Then, Storino displayed photographs of six dead bodies the feds have tied to Spann. They belonged to Carlos Caldwell, Maximillion McDaniel, Levar Smith, George King, Willie Woods and Latin Kings boss Rudy “Kato” Rangel Jr.
Spann’s trial, which began in mid-September, is on track to finish weeks early. Still, there is more work to do. Closing arguments are expected to continue Tuesday with comments from Spann’s defense attorneys. Then, prosecutors will have one more chance to speak to jurors.
The defense has argued that the prosecutors’ witnesses cut deals with law enforcement and lied about Spann. Spann took the stand last week and testified that despite growing up among the city’s street gangs and joining the Four Corner Hustlers around age 13, he later became his “own man.”
He also insisted there “ain’t no such thing as no chief.”
But Storino argued Monday that it’s “preposterous” to think Spann was a petty drug dealer or thief.
“He is a Four Corner Hustler,” Storino said. “He is a smart, ruthless and manipulative gang leader. He is a person who kills, he robs, he extorts, and he intimidates others. All in furtherance of his gang, the Four Corner Hustlers, and he has done it for over two decades.”
The prosecutor pointed to several recordings of Spann, including one in which Spann said “I want all my guys to know what we going to the penitentiary for” and “you get your juice off guidance, you got to know how to lead a crowd.”
Spann repeatedly tied himself to the Four Corner Hustlers in the years after he told jurors he left the gang, Storino said.
And following the June 2003 contract killing of Rangel, purportedly committed because Rangel had stolen $4 million worth of cocaine, Storino said Spann sought to enhance his reputation by sending a private message to rapper Chief Keef claiming responsibility for it.
“Labar Spann is a Four Corner Hustler,” Storino told the jury at the end of his argument. “He’s never stopped being a Four Corner Hustler. As he sits here today, he’s a Four Corner Hustler. And he committed crimes with his group, the Four Corner Hustlers.”