Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff On Trial For Murder, Faces Death Penalty
According to the Associated Press, the federal case claims that 46-year-old McGriff paid $50,000 to have two men gunned down back in 2001. He is charged with ordering a hit on E Money Bags (born Eric Smith) and Singleton, his associate, two years after E Money Bags shot and killed one of McGriff's friends in a dispute in 1999.
Emanuel "Dog" Mosley was arraigned on charges early last year that he recruited the men who carried out the hit, allegedly at McGriff's orders. If convicted of the charges, McGriff could possibly face the death penalty.
"The case against Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff is about a man with the power and the will to get people murdered," prosecutor Jason Jones told jurors during opening statements in a Brooklyn courtroom. "He wanted those men erased to settle an old score and to show that Supreme is not to be crossed."
Defense attorney David Ruhnke rebutted by claiming that after McGriff had served several years for a prior drug offense, he took the legitimate approach and fulfilled his dream of producing movies and films with childhood friend and Murder Inc. CEO Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo.
"This was an effort to make money legitimately, to change the direction of his life," Ruhnke stated.
But authorities claim that McGriff did no such thing and continued his drug operations in both New York and Baltimore, all while allegedly laundering more than $1 million dollars through Gotti's Murder Inc imprint. McGriff was originally indicted along with both Irv and his brother Chris "Gotti" Lorenzo on money laundering charges in 2005. The Lorenzo brothers were granted a separate trial from McGriff, and were later acquitted of the charges.
McGriff is believed by authorities to have started the notorious "Supreme Team," a powerful drug dealing crew that operated in NYC during the 1980's crack epidemic. Allegedly, the crew took in an estimated $200,000 per day during the height of its operations.