Local News

Gang Member Tells Jurors About Initiation In Double Murder Trial

Posted March 7, 2000

— An admitted gang member took the stand in a Cumberland County courtroom on Wednesday. She is reliving the night when three people were kidnapped and two of them murdered.

Ione Black, who has been affiliated with gangs since the eighth grade, is charged with the same murders as the two defendants on trial. Wednesday, she took the stand to tell jurors what she knows about how to be accepted into a gang.

"You can get sexed in, you can get beat in or you can be blessed in," Black says. "I had to fight another girl that was in the gang and they made me go to the store and steal some stuff."

Black is expected to talk in-depth about the gang initiation she was involved in with defendants Francisco "Paco" Tirado and Eric Queen. The state says the initiation led to the murders of Tracy Lambert and Susan Moore and the shooting of Debra Cheeseborough.

The farmer who found the lifeless bodies of Lambert and Moore took the stand as well as a police technician who could give jurors an idea of how close their attackers were when the two women were shot.

Black made a verbal agreement with the state in which she will not face the death penalty and possibly have her murder charge reduced to second degree murder in exchange for her testimony. In the courtroom, the defense said that they had not heard of any deal.

The judge criticized the state for not passing along any information about the deal to the defense. The judge then canceled proceedings for the rest of the day as well as Thursday and Friday.

Black will not be able to tell the rest of her story about exactly what happened the night in question until Monday.

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