Former Kingsmen president gets three life sentences for double murder

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Andre Jenkins fired the gun that killed two fellow Kingsmen, but the man behind the assassination-style murders is also going to prison for life.

David Pirk, the Lockport native who rose to power in the violent motorcycle gang, was given three consecutive life sentences Thursday for his leadership role in orchestrating the double murder.

Now 68, Pirk was found guilty of conspiring with Jenkins and others to kill Kingsmen Paul Maue and Daniel "DJ" Szymanski outside their North Tonawanda clubhouse in September 2014.

"DJ was a large man with a heart of gold," his mother, Barbara Szymanski, said during a statement in court Thursday. "His nickname was teddy bear."

Jenkins, who is already serving life without parole because of a Niagara County conviction for the murders, was also found guilty in federal court of taking part in the conspiracy. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford will sentence him later on Thursday.

During their trial, Pirk and Jenkins found themselves confronting Kingsmen testifying about the killings, including a confrontation between Jenkins and gun-toting Kingsmen in Tennessee.

It was just a day after the murders and Jenkins, on his way back from North Tonawanda, had stopped at a Kinsgmen clubhouse, only to be greeted by armed members eager to retaliate.

Jenkins, according to Kingsmen at the scene that day, begged them to call Pirk, who told them to stand down and let Jenkins go.

Timothy Enix, 58, a former Florida-Tennessee regional president, also was found guilty of being part of a racketeering conspiracy, and faces a potential sentence of 30 to 50 years in prison.

From the start of the trial – a three-month proceeding with 60 witnesses, many of them Kingsmen – federal prosecutors argued it was Pirk who orchestrated the murders.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, through the testimony of those who took the stand, said the murders were a message to rivals within the club.

Tripi also argued that Pirk, who was elected in 2013, was promoting an effort to turn the club into a criminal organization, or "one-percent" club.

Witnesses during the trial put Jenkins at the murder scene and later in a nearby bar with blood on his pants. One Kingsmen said he saw him leave the North Tonawanda clubhouse just moments after the killings.

Another witness, a woman who was with Jenkins before and after the killings, said she saw him throw a gun to the side of the road as they rode south on Route 219 to Olean. A massive police search eventually located the gun.

From the start of the trial, prosecutors focused on the rivalry within the Kingsmen, a feud that almost turned deadly during a confrontation between Pirk and Kingsmen Filip Caruso at the South Buffalo clubhouse a month before the murders.

Caruso, angry over the promotion of another Kingsmen Motorcycle Club member, came armed with a Kel-Tec rifle hidden in his pants.

With Maue and Szymanski watching his back, Caruso confronted Pirk and Enix. The confrontation ended without any violence, but Caruso testified that Pirk made it clear later that he believed Maue, who came armed with a small baseball bat, was behind the South Buffalo incident.

At one point, while on the stand, Caruso gestured with his hand to indicate what Pirk planned to do.

"He put his fingers like this," Caruso, his hand in the shape of a gun, told the jury.

In the end, the jury found Pirk and Jenkins guilty of murder and gun possession in furtherance of the racketeering conspiracy, and of using the South Buffalo clubhouse for drug dealing as part of that conspiracy.

Jenkins also was convicted of a weapons charge for having a firearm while being a convicted felon, stemming from convictions in South Dakota in 1998 and 2010.

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Phil Fairbanks
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buffalonews.com




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