Former gang figure gets 33-month sentence

A Pierce County judge on Thursday sentenced a man accused of being a leader of Tacoma's Hilltop Crips street gang to two years, nine months in prison.

Jamal R. Henry, 27, pleaded guilty in June to one count of possessing stolen property. Henry wrote in plea documents that he wasn’t guilty but acknowledged he’d likely be convicted at trial.

He had been charged with the more serious offense of leading organized crime, but prosecutors cut a deal after determining it would be difficult to convict him of that charge.

Deputy prosecutor Phil Sorenson asked for a high-end sentence of three years, seven months in prison at Thursday’s sentencing hearing.

Henry asked Judge Susan Serko to show leniency.

“The gang I was a part of I’ve grown apart from and stand alone on my own two feet,” he said. “I’m just ready to put this whole ordeal behind me.”

Serko decided to sentence him to the low end of the range.

Henry was one of 36 people charged in February in a law enforcement crackdown on the Hilltop Crips. Half have been convicted of various crimes. Sixteen await trial. One’s case was transferred to federal court and another’s was dismissed.