A ‘boss of bosses’ of the Los Angeles-based Crips gang who began ascending the ranks when he was six years old has been sentenced to 35 years in federal prison.
Paul ‘Lil Doc’ Wallace, 56, was sentenced for a racketeering conspiracy, which included the 2014 murder of a rival gang member shot dead while he was washing his car.
Wallace has been in prison since 2020.
His supporters, some of whom testified in his defense, argued that Wallace was reformed and had renounced violence. They said he played an instrumental role in arranging a truce between his gang, the East Coast Crips, based on the east of LA‘s South Side, and the Mexican-American Florencia 13 gang, who the ECC had battled for control of drug trafficking in their district.
But prosecutors said he was unrepentant, boasting about killing people and arranging the stabbing of a rival inmate in 2021. They also pointed to YouTube clips in which he told of torturing dogs.
‘As a ‘triple OG,’ a ‘big homie,’ and the ‘boss of bosses,’ defendant could order violence and commit violence with impunity,’ said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Chemerinsky, deputy chief of the Los Angeles office’s Violent and Organized Crime Section.
‘And this is exactly what he did.’
Paul ‘Lil Doc’ Wallace, 56, was sentenced to 35 years in prison by a LA judge on Friday
Pastor Shep Crawford and LA CAN founder Pete White address the crowd at The Help Give Care Foundation in June 2019. Crawford appealed to the judge on Wallace’s behalf during sentencing, saying Wallace was a reformed character who worked for the good of the community – but prosecutors said he was unrepentant and a skilled liar
Wallace was born in Vivian, Louisiana – a remote rural town near the Texas border, 30 miles north of Shreveport, according to documents obtained by Law & Crime.
His mother found out their father was married and had another family, and so she and her seven children moved to Los Angeles.
Wallace’s lawyers said the move came ‘at a time when the Crips and Bloods were beginning to form and the crack epidemic was in its infancy.’
Wallace’s mother worked long hours, with older siblings taking care of the younger – and Wallace increasingly drawn to the expanding gang life that dominated the poor areas of south central Los Angeles in the 1970s.
Aged six, he began hanging out with gang members – sometimes riding around on the handlebars of their bikes.
He was officially initiated into the East Coast Crips in the 1970s, joining one of the largest African-American gangs at the time, which was locked into a rivalry with the Bloods and their subsets.
Wallace was known as Lil’ Doc Thone.
Aged 16 he was shot seven times, and then again in the same year, and was first convicted on firearms charges when he was 19.
Wallace is seen in his younger days. He was around gang members from the age of six, and was shot seven times aged 16 – and again later that year
He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 1989 for a drive-by shooting, and went on to rack up multiple weapons charges and at least two more stints in prison.
He was convicted again in 1996 of another weapons possession charge while still in prison, and in 2016 was convicted of federal firearms offenses.
Wallace’s second and final federal case was brought in July 2020 in an indictment describing him as ‘the most influential member’ of the East Coast Crips’ 6Pacc subset.
He was charged with two murders – the 2003 shooting of Raymond Pickett, and the November 2014 shooting of Reginald Brown, 50, who was unarmed and washing his car when killed at 8:30am.
Wallace himself did not pull the trigger, but was ultimately responsible and the murder weapon, an AK-47-style assault rifle, was later found in Wallace’s.
He was convicted of Brown’s murder but not Pickett’s at the end of an 11-day trial in April this year.
‘Wallace maintained his control over the gang through violence and intimidation,’ the Justice Department said at the time, announcing his conviction.
‘Wallace murdered and conspired to commit murder to enhance the gang’s violent reputation, to enhance his status within the gang, to retaliate against rivals, and to enforce discipline within the gang.
‘As a gang leader, Wallace’s other criminal conduct included selling drugs in ECC territory, extorting local businesses, presiding over robberies, and engaging in other acts of violence, including intimidation, assaults and shootings against the gang’s rivals.’
His lawyers, Amy E. Jacks and Shaun Khojayan, called for ‘a mitigated sentence’ that considered the 10-year minimum for the gun charge, noting his lifelong trauma from a broken relationship with his father and being shot twice aged 16.
They also cited Wallace’s ‘instrumental’ work ending ‘a 20-year war’ between his East Coast Crips and the Florencia 13 gang, as well as his anti-gang outreach with kids and through the organization Trucing the Gangs.
Wallace was running his own non-profit, United We Stand Up, dedicated to ending gang rivalries, when he was arrested in 2020. The group is now run by Trucing the Gangs’ founder Pastor Shep Crawford.
Crawford spoke at Wallace’s sentencing on Friday, as did Skipp Townsend, an ex-Bloods gangster who runs the gang intervention group Last Call.
‘Mr Wallace is focused solely on bettering his life and that of his young family,’ Jacks and Khojayan wrote in their memo.
‘He had a difficult upbringing and trauma in his life that should be taken into account towards a mitigated sentence.’
Wallace is seen in prison in a video posted by the group United We Stand Up
But the prosecutor, Chemerinsky, said Wallace planned and oversaw the May 2021 stabbing of another inmate, and described him as ‘undeterred and unrepentant’.
Chemerinsky said the trial evidence ‘if anything understated his propensity for violence and depravity.’
‘For example, in one recording, which was never played at trial, defendant bragged about torturing dogs, cutting off their limbs for enjoyment,’ Chemerinsky wrote.
He referenced being in ‘the pen’ – believed to be a reference to prison – with a man named Evil because ‘he was killing like a motherf***** like me.’
‘I’m like, damn. They put in work. Got murders under they belt like a motherf*****. I got murders under mine,’ Wallace said.
In the YouTube interview, Wallace says he participated in devil worship and sawed the legs off dogs and mutilated cats.
The prosecutor anticipated that Wallace’s lawyers would try and argue he was reformed and a force for good in the community, and submitted another memo designed to ‘preemptively respond to any claim defendant may make at sentencing that he is reformed or can be otherwise trusted to comply with the law.’
He wrote: ‘Based on defendant’s sentencing memorandum and arguments advanced previously, it appears defendant may attempt to argue that he has been a force for good in the community.
‘Defendant has a long history of deception and manipulation, and these arguments should not be trusted.’
U.S. District Judge André Birotte agreed with Chemerinsky – rejecting his life sentence recommendation, but sentencing Wallace to an effective life sentence.
Wallace’s lawyers told Law & Crime that they intend to appeal.