- Associated Press - Thursday, September 22, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Federal prosecutors in Charlotte say two men have pleaded guilty in the deaths of a couple in Lake Wylie, South Carolina, in order to avoid a possible death sentence.

A statement from U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose said 24-year-old Jamell Lamon Cureton and 23-year-old Malcolm Jarrel Hartley pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder and other charges. They will be sentenced later.

Prosecutors say the men were members of the United Blood Nation gang and were charged with killing Doug and Debbie London at their home in 2014.

Prosecutors say the couple was killed to prevent them from testifying against two other gang members who had robbed their store in Pineville.

Twelve people accused of being gang members have been indicted. Seven have signed plea agreements and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

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