Death for Pa. Drug Kingpin, Arsonist, Murderer

June 3, 2013
Kaboni Savage ordered the 2004 firebombing of federal informant Eugene Coleman's family home, which left six people, including four children, dead.

June 01--DRUG KINGPIN Kaboni Savage, convicted last month of 12 murders, wore a slight smirk as he walked into a U.S. District courtroom yesterday to learn his fate.

A half-hour later, after learning that he would be put to death, the notorious former boxer who lorded over a North Philadelphia drug empire for more than a decade was escorted from the courtroom, his head hanging low.

Jurors unanimously decided the death sentence for Savage, 38, who was convicted in May on 12 counts of murder, as well as charges of arson, racketeering and retaliation against a witness.

At the time of his conviction, Savage was already serving a 30-year prison sentence for drug trafficking.

In the most infamous of Savage's murder cases, he ordered the 2004 firebombing of federal informant Eugene Coleman's family home, which left six people, including four children, dead. Savage called for the bombing from prison after being indicted on drug charges that year.

Savage, wearing a grayish-green jumpsuit, looked at the jury forewoman as she announced the death verdict on the first count of murder -- that of 44-year-old Kenneth Lassiter. He turned his head and looked down as the juror read the death sentence on the remaining counts.

The jury found Savage and his sister, Kidada, 30, guilty for the firebombing after deliberating for a week. Kidada Savage faces a mandatory life sentence.

Along with the Savages, Robert Merritt, 32, was found guilty of racketeering and Steven Northington, 41, was found guilty of two counts of murder.

Both face life sentences, and Northington could also be given the death penalty.

The Oct. 4, 2004, firebombing killed Coleman's mother, Marcella Coleman, 54; his 15-month-old son, Damir Jenkins; Tameka Nash, 34; Tajh Porchea, 12; Khadijah Nash, 10; and Sean Anthony Rodriguez, 15 -- all of whom were inside the house on 6th Street near Allegheny Avenue when the Savages' associate, Lamont Lewis, carried the bombing out. Lewis pleaded guilty in the case and cooperated with the prosecution to avoid the death penalty.

Prosecutors said Savage killed Lassiter, his first victim, in 1998 after the two bumped cars in Hunting Park. Other victims Savage was found guilty of killing or ordering the murders of are: Mansur "Shafiq" Abdullah, 22; Carlton "Mohammed" Brown, 27; Barry Parker, 32; Tyrone Toliver, 26; and Tybius Flowers, 32.

Savage's sentence is set to be formally imposed in U.S. District Court Monday and is to be followed by the penalty hearing for Northington.

Copyright 2013 - Philadelphia Daily News

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