Trial Begins For Man Accused In Gang-Related Murders


NEW BOSTON, Texas–A jury was selected and testimony began Monday for a Tennessee man accused of participating in murders and other crimes at the direction of leaders of the Texarkana-based gang Loyalty Cash Business.

Cedric Alexander, 33, is facing multiple charges of organizing in criminal activity for his alleged role in shootings in 2020 and 2021 that resulted in the deaths of Jermaine Aldridge and Joseph Hawkins, according to probable cause affidavits. A jury of five men and seven women was selected Monday in proceedings before 5th District Judge Bill Miller at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston.

Alexander and a number of others who are either members of Loyalty Cash Business (LCB) or associated with it are facing racketeering charges in connection with the gang’s criminal activity. Alexander allegedly traveled with co-defendant Cornell Brown from Memphis to Texarkana to carry out the hit on Aldridge Dec. 30, 2020, and again in July 2021 to kill Hawkins.

Aldridge had been having a meal at a Chili’s restaurant in Texarkana, Texas, with fellow LCB gang members when he went outside to talk on his phone. LCB leader and co-founder, Courtney Hope, allegedly wanted Aldridge dead because he believed he had stolen $100,000 in cash from illegal activity. Aldridge was fatally shot in the parking lot and cell phone records allegedly show that Alexander and Brown averaged 94 miles per hour on their trip back to Tennessee immediately after Aldridge was shot.

Hope is currently serving a 40-year prison term he received as part of a plea agreement on racketeering-type charges related to Aldridge’s and Hawkins’ murders and drug trafficking.

Alexander was allegedly involved in the July 15, 2021, shooting of Hawkins, who was struck in the face and neck as he sat in a car in the 1700 block of W. 3rd St. in Texarkana, Texas. Alexander and another man from Memphis were arrested near the scene of the shooting.

Alexander is facing up to life in prison if convicted on the charges.

First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter are representing the state. Alexander is represented by Texarkana lawyer Jeff Harrelson and Little Rock lawyer Tabitha Branch.

The jury is scheduled to return to the courthouse Tuesday morning to continue hearing testimony in the case.

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