CLEVELAND -- A federal jury has convicted two Cleveland men of participating in a carjacking in the city’s Tremont neighborhood, according to Acting U.S. Attorney David A. Sierleja, FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony and Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams.
In a release, they say that Kenneth Jackson, Jr., 20, and Antowine Palmer, 24, were convicted of an armed carjacking in July 2015. They say that Jackson was also convicted of carjacking a couple the following day.
The jury found Jackson brandished a firearm in both attacks while Palmer used a firearm in the first carjacking, according to the release.
They are scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 23 and Palmer still has a murder trial pending in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
They added that Tervon’tae Taylor, 23, of Cleveland Heights; D’wan Dillard, Jr., 20, Calvin Rembert, 23, both of Cleveland, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in carjackings in and around Tremont in the summer of 2015.
According to evidence and testimony introduced in the week-long trial supplied by the U.S. Attorney's Office:
Palmer and Jackson were members of the Heartless Felons street gang. They were feuding with a different set of Heartless Felons. The defendants planned to do a drive-by shooting of members of the rival group, so they went to Tremont to steal a car so they would be unrecognizable during the drive-by shooting.
Palmer, Jackson, Taylor and Rembert saw a man loading a GMC Denali in the early morning hours of July 25, 2015. They held a loaded gun to the victim’s head, pistol-whipped him and stole his vehicle, his wallet and his cellular phone. The defendants used his credit cards to make purchases at a Walmart, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
“These defendants are violent predators who illegally used firearms to steal from law-abiding citizens,” Sierleja said.