An Ulster County jury Tuesday found Jermaine “Maino” Nicholas guilty on all four counts of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to kill a witness to an alleged gang shooting.
In a small courtroom before an anxious group of Nicholas’ relatives, the jury forewoman spoke in a whisper as she pronounced the 24-year-old alleged member of the Sex Money Murder set of the Bloods gang guilty of conspiracy, intimidating a witness, tampering with a witness and criminal facilitation. He faces up to 25 years in state prison when he’s sentenced on Dec. 7.
Nicholas is the fourth man convicted in the Feb. 9, 2010 murder of Charles “C.J.” King Jr., who was shot in the head and arm on Cedar Street minutes after Nicholas called fellow Sex Money Murder gangbangers to tell them that he had spotted King at a deli.
Prosecutors say that gang associate Trevor “Little T” Mattis shot King to prevent him from testifying against his brother, Jarrin “Phat Boy” Rankin. At the time of the murder, Rankin was locked in the Ulster County Jail awaiting trial on weapons and assault charges for the Nov. 21, 2009 shooting of an alleged Crips gang member who confronted him with a sawed-off shotgun. King witnessed the gun battle and testified about the incident to an Ulster County grand jury. Mattis and alleged gang leader Gary “G Money” Griffin were convicted in April on counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Rankin was convicted in June on charges of conspiracy and sentenced to 25 years in prison. A fifth alleged gang member, Rondy “Ski” Russ, faces trial on conspiracy charges later this year.
In previous trials in the case, prosecutors relied heavily on phone calls between the jailed Rankin and various gang member and associates, which they say pointed to a conspiracy to find and kill the 21-year-old Kingston resident before he made it to court.