Crime Spree on the Reservation

Teen-gangster Crips on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community got high on crystal meth and cheap beer and terrorized the reservation with drive-by shootings, murder, beatings, fire-bombings and robberies for two years--until the feds busted them fo

Webster denies that charge. He says he was shooting in the air to scare his girlfriend's parents.

Tribal cops began arresting more and more members of the East Side Crips Rolling Thirties for arson, drive-bys and the Subway murder.

In August 1995, John Webster was arrested and charged with a number of crimes, including arson, murder and shooting at Gilland Fulwilder with an assault rifle. (Because Webster later worked out a deal with the feds, all charges were dropped except for the racketeering charge, to which Webster pleaded guilty. He remains in jail awaiting sentencing.)

Gilland Fulwilder was also arrested in 1995 for a minor probation violation. Fulwilder was released shortly before Christmas in 1995.

While in jail, Fulwilder learned that a young kid, Johnny James, might have been partying with his girlfriend, who was the mother of three of Fulwilder's children.

When he was released, Fulwilder later testified, he and Nick Pablo and Mark Case, two teen members of the East Side Crips Rolling Thirties, visited the girlfriend at her home in a reservation housing development.

They were drinking Old English champagne.
They got drunk.
The three saw James, began arguing with him. Fulwilder nudged him, then fell on him. Fulwilder got up; James remained on the ground. Mark Case and Nick Pablo "stomped" the boy for 45 minutes, Fulwilder testified. Case was wearing steel-toed boots. In the midst of the fight, Fulwilder left in search of a cigarette. When he returned, Case and Pablo were still kicking the boy, he testified.

Two friends of James witnessed the stomping.
"We told them we knew where they lived. If they said anything, we'll come after them," Fulwilder testified.

Johnny James lay limp on the ground, still alive.
Next, Fulwilder testified, the three gangsters struggled to stuff the boy into a neighbor's car. Pablo kicked at James' head even after he was in the back seat.

"It was like stepping on a bug," Fulwilder recalled.
When the gangsters finally got James stuffed into the car, they drove to the Arizona Canal, hoping to throw James in the water so he would drown "to get rid of him," Fulwilder said.

But there was no water in the canal, so the gangsters threw the boy on the dirt and drove away. He died in the hospital a few days later.

Johnny James had no gang affiliation.
His parents have since left the reservation and could not be located for comment.

Almost immediately, Fulwilder was picked up by police, and worked out a deal to join the federal witness-protection program in exchange for his testimony on various gang crimes. He has not been charged in the James murder.

Case and Pablo were also arrested and remain in custody. Although Pablo has been implicated in both the Subway murder and the James murder, he has not been charged with either crime. Case also has not been charged in the stomping of Johnny James. The James case is still being investigated.

Riley Junior was arrested in December 1995 and charged with a number of crimes, including first-degree murder in connection with Pat Lindsay's death.

Riley Senior and Ricardo were arrested in 1996.
All three have refused jailhouse interviews with New Times.

April 1997. There was a loyal audience for the racketeering-crime-spree trial that ultimately resulted in the convictions of Philbert Antone, Riley Senior, Riley Junior and Ricardo Briones.

Philbert Antone was the only defendant who paid no attention to the audience, not even when he testified that he was innocent of murder.

Riley Junior, Riley Senior and Ricardo occasionally looked over at the three women who observed the trial from the area where spectators sympathetic to the defense usually sit.

Rosy Briones appeared haggard and sad. She often looked at her sons and husband. Riley's girlfriend, Carmen Montiel, sat with Rosy.

A few rows away, Ricardo's beautiful girlfriend Melissa Martinez nursed Ricardo's baby. Melissa didn't talk much to Rosy and Carmen.

On the side of the room where those sympathetic to the prosecution usually sit, Sharyn and Brian Lindsay, the parents of Pat Lindsay, clutched each other's hands. They stared straight ahead, ignoring the women on the other side of the room. The Lindsays attended each day of the trial, including the day when the 911 tape detailing their son's last minutes was played. (The Lindsays refused a request for an interview, saying they wanted to wait until all judicial proceedings connected with their son's murder are complete. There is still one person implicated in the killing--Nick Pablo--who has not been charged.)

Nolan Antone Jr., Philbert's brother, also attended each day of the trial.
Nolan's brother had been in jail since 1994, but he had not written his father or brother. And he hadn't phoned. During the first week of the trial, Philbert's lawyer told Nolan that Philbert didn't want him to attend the trial anymore.

"Maybe he was ashamed of what he'd done," Nolan says. "He knew how my father and I felt about all this."

Despite his brother's wishes, Nolan continued to show up at the trial. But he didn't know where to sit. First he sat on the prosecution side. Then he sat on the defense side. Then he settled in for good on the prosecution side.

"I don't want my brother to think I wanted him to get the ax," Nolan says. "No way. I just wished me and him could just walk out of there and he could have another chance to get his life together.

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