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Gang Member Called City's Most Violent Gets Death Sentence

December 13, 1997|MICHAEL KRIKORIAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Cleamon "Big Evil" Johnson, described by police detectives and FBI agents as the city's most violent gang member, was sentenced to death Friday, along with co-defendant Michael "Fat Rat" Allen, for the 1991 murders of two men at a South-Central Los Angeles carwash.

Superior Court Judge Charles E. Horan, who characterized Johnson as "a coldblooded and cunning murderer . . . who was the victim of his own evil," agreed with a jury that had recommended the death penalty Sept. 30.

Horan rejected defense appeals for a retrial and a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

Authorities contend that on Aug. 5, 1991, Johnson ordered Allen to get an Uzi submachine gun and "serve" two men at a carwash at Central Avenue and 88th Street.

Allen, 25, shot to death Donald Ray Loggins and Payton Beroit in broad daylight in front of more than a dozen witnesses, according to authorities. Loggins and Beroit were not gang members, but lived in rival gang turf.

Johnson, 30, who authorities say killed at least a dozen people during his reign as the shot-caller of his gang, the 89 Family Bloods, declared his innocence after he was sentenced. He called police a "lynch mob" and vowed to have his conviction overturned.

Johnson is also the defendant in another murder trial scheduled for February.

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