First Heartless Felons Trial Began Today


  • Cuyahoga County Sheriff
  • Porter
The trial of Robert Porter began today. Porter, an alleged major player within a violent prison gang, was charged with everything from criminal gang activity and aggravated murder to felonious assault and kidnapping. His trial leads off the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office's all-in push against the Heartless Felons.

Earlier this year, authorities filed charges against more than 40 members of what experts call the second-largest prison gang in the state of Ohio (behind white supremacists). One month prior, the county indicted Porter and four other allegedly high-profile members of the gang.

The short version of the Heartless Felons story has it that widespread recruitment among juvenile inmates within the Ohio Department of Youth Services garnered a firm stronghold in the early 2000s, leading to adult-age gang members filling out the state prison system in later years. Following the growth of the gang were frequent and dramatic spikes in violence against guards and other inmates.

The trials of co-defendants Julius Webster, Dawayne Arnold, Derrick Durden and Lakia Golston will begin in mid-October. 

(NatGeo's Lockdown profiled the Heartless Felons in an episode that is available on Netflix.)

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