Driver in Kingston gang hit is freed from jail (VIDEOS)
KINGSTON, N.Y. — The woman who said she drove gang members to and from the scene of the 2010 gang hit on Charles “C.J” King Jr., then later testified against the killers in court, was sentenced Tuesday in Ulster County Court to one year in Ulster County Jail.
But because Amanda “Blazer Bitch” Miller was in jail from the time of her arrest on Feb. 10, 2010, until she pleaded guilty in March, the sentence amounted to “time served,” and the jail confirmed Tuesday evening that she had been released.
Through tears, Miller, 20, told Ulster County Judge Donald A. Williams on Tuesday that she was sorry “for everything that happened.”
“I know what I did was wrong, but I cannot change that,” she said. “If I could go back and change that day, I would change everything."
King, 21, was shot to death on Feb. 9, 2010, on Cedar Street in Midtown Kingston. Authorities have said the hit was planned from inside the Ulster County Jail by Jarrin “Phat Boy” Rankin because King testified before a grand jury about a November 2009 shooting in which Rankin was the suspect.
King was killed by Rankin’s half-brother, Trevor “Little T” Mattis, with a gun provided by Gary “G-Money” Griffin, who authorities have said was the head of Sex Money Murder, a local offshoot of the Bloods street gang.
Mattis and Griffin were convicted in April 2011 of first-degree murder and were sentenced to life in state prison with no chance of parole.
Rankin was convicted of conspiracy in June 2011 and was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.
Miller, who 18 at the time of the killing, drove Mattis and Griffin to and from the area where King was fatally shot.
She originally was charged with criminal facilitation and conspiracy to commit murder, but the charges against her were reduced in exchange for her testimony against others involved in the shooting.
“I’m sorry for everything that’s happened with this whole case,” Miller said in court Tuesday. “I’ve learned a very valuable lesson. … I have to live with the fact that (King) died the rest of my life.”
Miller said she no longer is involved with gangs, has had her gang tattoo changed and is “trying to start over.”
“I don’t plan on ever being in this court every again,” she said.
But Williams, who repeatedly has expressed his displeasure at the plea bargain that gave Miller one year in jail, was having none of it.
“You know perfectly well what I feel about your conduct,” he said.
“You not only took the life of someone who had the courage to stand up … you had destroyed a mother and father’s life,” he said.
“When you tell me you have to live with your complicity in taking another human life — that comment alone I find offensively self-absorbed, and any remorse you may have is too little too late.” Continued...
Williams said Miller was allowed to serve only one year in jail “because this court is handcuffed, as everyone knows.”
But Williams also said he understood “the absolute necessity to offer this cooperation agreement in order to bring to justice the individuals that not only took C.J. King’s life, but also participated in the planning.”
Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright reduced the charges against Miller in exchange for her cooperation in the prosecution of others involved in King’s murder. If she had been convicted of the original felony charge, she would have been subject to up to 25 years in state prison.
“Amanda Miller was a person who was very significant in this prosecution,” Carnright said. “The fact remains, without her involvement, without her cooperation, I’m not sure we would have been successful in these prosecutions.”
Carnright said he believed Miller’s comments in the court “were genuine” but agreed that “that’s not enough.”
Also convicted in connection with King’s death were Jermaine “Maino” Nicholas, at whose home gang members hung out while planning the hit on King. Authorities said Nicholas set the hit in motion by calling Mattis to alert him of King’s whereabouts on Feb. 9, 2010.
Mattis went to the Cedar Street location and killed King shortly after receiving that call, authorities said.
Nicholas was found guilty at an October 2011 trial of felony conspiracy, intimidating a witness, witness tampering and criminal facilitation.
A fifth man, Rondy “Ski” Russ, pleaded guilty in March to felony conspiracy. Authorities said Russ, in mid-January 2010, brandished a box cutter at King’s father and demanded to know King’s whereabouts. Russ has not yet been sentenced
Charges against Dametria “Meatie” Kelley, who authorities said was the messenger between Rankin and other gang members, were dropped in exchange for her testimony.
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