If you’re going to be a gang member, it might be best not to write a book telling your techniques. A Riverside County, Ca., jury yestereday found former Crips member Colton Simpson, who wrote a tell-all book about his life on the streets of Los Angeles, guilty of robbing a jewelry store, which could send him to prison for life, reports the Los Angeles Times. In 2005, Simpson wrote “Inside the Crips: Life Inside L.A.’s Most Notorious Gang,” which explored in graphic detail how he joined the gang at age 10, shot two rival gang members shortly after and began robbing jewelry stores at 14.
During Simpson’s three-week trial, prosecutor Charles Lockwood used passages from the book to try to establish Simpson’s character in the jury’s mind. “I love doing jewelry licks,” Simpson said in the book “It gets so I go in alone, ask to see a Rolex, grab two, dash out the store, turn them around, and have eight thousand dollars stuffed in my pocket,” Simpson wrote. The defense argued that someone with Simpson’s criminal prowess would never botch a robbery so badly. “I think there was reasonable doubt,” said a defense attorney. “It was obviously damaging when the book came into evidence.” Riverside County Superior Court Judge F. Paul Dickerson III allowed portions of the book to be used as evidence. not incoluding parts dealing with gangs and violent robberies. Jurors said the book had some effect. “It showed that he has been doing this sort of thing since he was 14,” said one, who identified herself only as Mary. “The whole book glorifies this kind of lifestyle.”