Two Kurdish Pride Gang members, who were convicted in July 2008 for plotting the murder of a rival gang member, did not get the answers they asked for from the Court of Criminal Appeals in Nashville.
Brothers Aso and Ako Nejad had appealed their convictions and 25-year sentences on conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Ako Nejad also had an additional 12-year sentence for a conviction on attempted second-degree murder.
The brothers claimed that “evidence was insufficient to support their convictions, a mistrial should have been declared after a witness testified that one of the brothers was a gang member, newly discovered evidence discredits the state’s theory of motive and that their sentences were excessive,” among other assertions.
In a ruling filed Sept. 14, the court rejected their claims and affirmed their convictions and sentences.
The Nejad brothers were sentenced in September 2008 for their parts in an August 2006 incident at Edwin Warner Park in which gang members opened fire on a Metro parks police officer.
Several KPG members, including the Nejads who planned the retribution killing, were about to ambush Brown Pride member Darion Coleman, for a robbery during a previous drug deal, when Officer James Spray happened upon the scene.
The officer approached a parked car that was being used for bait. The car sped away and as Spray pursued it, his patrol car was shot several times. It was later determined that Ako Nejad, one of the men lying in wait behind trees in the park, had shot the car, coming within inches of hitting Spray’s head.