UPDATE 6/26/14: Kevin L. Ashby was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for participating in a May 2009 murder, along with a concurrent sentence of 40 years for participating in the Thug Relations gang, which engaged in narcotics distribution, weapons violations and multiple acts of violence, including several murders, in the Newport News area, according to the District Attorney.

UPDATE 3/13/14: Kevin L. Ashby, 25, pleaded guilty Wednesday to participating in a racketeering conspiracy and violence in aid of racketeering including murder.

Ashby faces a mandatory life sentence when he is sentenced on June 26, 2014.

UPDATE 10/22: Kenneth Matthews, 36, of Newport News was sentenced Tuesday to 22 years in prison for his participation in a drug conspiracy and accessory after the fact to murder, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Matthews pled guilty on July 15, 2013 to a conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and accessory after the fact to murder in reference to his disposal of a firearm used in the murder of Christian Hatch.

NEWPORT NEWS -- Two Newport News men were indicted by a federal grand jury on murder charges Wednesday.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Antonio J. Fuller, 23, and Kevin L. Ashby, 25, were indicted for participating in a criminal organization that engaged in acts of violence, including five murders, as well as narcotics distribution and weapons violations.

The suspects are charged with operating a racketeering enterprise responsible for violent acts including the murders of Andre Horton and Andre Julius Johnson on May 17, 2009. In addition, Fuller is charged with the murder of Christian Hatch on November 4, 2009.

Kevin Ashby is charged with the murder and robbery of Lafayette Bailey on December 15, 2009, and the murder and robbery of Lloyd Robinson on January 8, 2010.

The indictment also charges the two with the attempted murder of two other individuals.

According to the indictment, both defendants are allegedly part of a gang known as 'Thug Relations,' which operates in the Aqueduct Apartments, St. Michael's Apartments, Mariner's Landing Apartments, Heritage Trace Apartments, as well as Warwick Lawns, Warwick Town Home, Sharon Drive, and the Savage Drive areas of Newport News.

The suspects are accused in the indictment of protecting their criminal enterprise and activities through murder, attempted murder, witness intimidation, robbery, and narcotics distribution.

Ashby is in federal custody on other charges. Fuller is in state custody.

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