While Alpo was talking himself blue in the face to the feds, Silk was arrested for selling an illegal substance. Which meant Silk had tried to sell cocaine to an undercover police officer, who arrested him. The police tossed Silk into Prince George’s County Jail, where he awaited trial. As Silk cooled his heels in jail, the feds were putting together an air-tight case against him.
When Silk walked into court on December 4, 1992, he expected to plead guilty to one count of selling an illegal substance. He would receive a fine and a short sentence. It didn’t happen that way. Instead, Silk was arrested by the Safe Streets Task Force and charged with the October 23, 1991 murder of Garrett ‘Gary’ Terrell, “in furtherance of a continual criminal enterprise.”
They took Silk back to D.C. and tossed him into jail there.
On December 5, 1992, the headline of the Washington Timesread ‘Suspected Hitman Arrested in ‘91 Killing.’ The article identified Wayne Perry as the top hitman for the Martinez Organization, a gang that operated in New York, Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. Perry may have been personally responsible for six drug-related murders. He had been officially charged with the murder of Garrett ‘Gary’ Terrell, who was an infamous drug lord in the D.C. area.
Four months later, on March 6, 1993, the Washington Postreported that three men had been indicted as enforcers for the Martinez Organization, which had killed nine people in a two year period, 1989 to 1991. According to a statement made by the U.S. Attorney, the 27-count indictment charged Wayne Perry, Tyrone Price and Michael Jackson “with the executions of nine individuals as part of a coordinated campaign to protect and promote their drug organization. These defendants allegedly served as hitmen to eliminate witnesses, assassinate rival drug dealers and murder disloyal gang members.”
The indictment alleged that Wayne Perry took part in eight of the nine alleged homicides. Among the people Wayne ‘Silk’ Perry allegedly killed were Michael ‘Fray’ Salters, Evelyn Carter, and Yolanda Burley.
Silk claimed he did not kill Fray. According to Silk, Alpo set the whole thing up to look like Silk was the murderer. Silk told the interviewer at Don Divawhat really happened. “Yes, I was after Fray,” said Silk, “because he put a hit on me. He said he had to get me out of the way so he could extort Alpo. So I end up finding out about the hit on me and I got at those in Fray’s crew who took the hit and let him know that he was next. But I couldn’t track him down. So Alpo and them set it up for Fray’s close buddy to hit him and then tell all Fray’s people that I did cause he was close to me too. The dude (Alpo) is a snake. All the time he (Alpo) was the one that did it and the dudes at the shop was in on it.”
Alpo, of course, had already told the feds that Silk had done for Fray. He also told the feds that Silk killed Evelyn Carter because she was shooting her mouth off about who killed Fray. So Silk took care of it. After a Keith Sweat concert at Constitution Hall, Silk grabbed her and shot her.
In his interview with Don Diva, Silk admitted to killing Evelyn Carter. “May she rest in peace. If I would have let her talk, she would have told me the truth. But I wouldn’t have listened because I stand for loyalty and my loyalty was with that dude. That was my man but he was a snake.”
“My man” was Michael Jackson, a member of Silk’s murderous crew, who was named in the indictment along with Silk. Silk told Don Divathat Jackson was the one who killed Fray for Alpo. After the murder, Jackson attended Fray’s funeral, where he told everyone that Silk had killed Fray. Evelyn Carter was there too. She heard Jackson give up Silk for murder. So to cover himself for snitching and lying, Jackson told Silk that it was Carter who gave him up. So Silk killed her.
How much of this was the truth and how much was humbug didn’t matter. Silk was a stone-cold killer by his own admission to Don Diva.
Silk and his co-defendants pled not guilty. Presiding over the hearing was U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan, whose reputation was irreproachable. No trial date was set. This was to ensure that the defendants had proper representation by experienced attorneys.
The prosecution decided to ask for the death penalty. On June 9, 1993, the Washington Post headline read: ‘Execution Sought in District; First Death Case Since 1971.’ The reason this was such a big deal was because just the year before the voters of Washington D.C. had rejected a law that would have once again allowed the death penalty. The initiative had been defeated by a 2 to 1 ratio. However, Silk was to be tried under federal law in U.S. District Court. And a 1987 federal statute provided for the death penalty in cases where defendants were convicted of murder in furtherance of a drug conspiracy.
The feds weren’t messing around. They were measuring Silk for a casket.
Silk’s defense attorneys challenged the decision in court. Judge Hogan rejected their motions. Under federal law, there was no reason not to.
Wayne ‘Silk’ Perry was scheduled to go on trial for his life.
But it never happened.
There was no death penalty. And no trial.
For on April 1, 1994, the Washington Postheadline screamed out: ‘Killer Cops Plea, Gets Life Sentence in Five Murders.’ April Fools Day! Only no one was fooling. Silk had cut a deal with the feds. He pled guilty to five murders and to participating in a continuing criminal enterprise. Silk confessed to the murder of Domenico Benson, who was killed because he slapped Alpo’s wife, and to the murders of Evelyn Carter, Yolanda Burley, Alveta Hopkins and Garrett Terrell. In return, the feds agreed to drop all other charges and not impose the death penalty at sentencing.
Years later, in his interview with Don Diva, Silk said he cut the deal because he was afraid of Alpo’s lies. Alpo’s lies – possibly – would have resulted in Silk’s execution. “I am a very loyal man,” said Silk. “I don’t fear nothing and no one but God. The fear of weaker guys put me in prison. Alpo made false statements and told countless lies that got me five consecutive life sentences. Make no mistake about it, Alpo is a spineless coward, a rat of the highest order.” Silk also claimed he was a political prisoner, the victim of racism. “I maintain that this criminal justice system is corrupt and that these so-called African American men are its prey.”
Silk went on to tell Don Diva, “I didn’t cop out because of the death penalty. I live to die. I copped out to make sure others didn’t get life. I took the bull by the horns to save others. That’s the kind of man I am.”
In other words, Silk was proud of not being a snitch. By inference, he was proud of being a murderer too. And in the Don Divainterview, like a dog returning to its own vomit, Silk’s two favorite topics were Alpo and Silk. He kept circling back to them. According to Silk, Alpo was a pit viper, injecting everyone around him with poison. While he himself was a stand-up guy.
In reality, Silk lived by a self-indulgent code of honor, which approved of murder but disapproved of snitching, especially if he was the one being snitched on. Silk espoused a popular doctrine called ethical pragmatism, which always turned out to be the doctrine of self-interest. It’s a pathological and narcissistic philosophy.
The Judge sentenced Silk to five consecutive life sentences without parole, and then tacked on five years probation. Silk’s common-law wife, Twala McClain tried to stand by her man. After Silk was sentenced, his wife told reporters, “I’ll always be there for him. He was good to me.” But she later divorced him.
In March of 1994, 32-year old Wayne ‘Silk’ Perry left Chocolate City for the last time. Shackled and handcuffed, U.S. Marshals escorted him out of D.C.
Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez entered the federal witness protection program. For all intents and purposes, it was as if Alpo dropped off the face of the earth.
Silk was gone but his name lived on. Silk’s legend started to grow. On the streets they talked about him with awe in their voices. They pumped up the volume of Silk’s life. Silk was a killing machine without peer. He was idolized as one of the Top Five Killers out of D.C. when it came to the murder game. Don Diva magazine called him “the Michael Jordan of the murder game.” People compared him to Billy the Kid of wild, wild West days. Silk had been the King of Drama City.
But even though Silk lived on in legend, things changed. Hip Hop music came on the scene, along with Rap. Mix-Unit put out a DVD about Alpo, glorifying him for being one of the baddest dudes around. The street rags, Don Diva magazine, along with F.E.D.S.magazine ran occasional articles about Silk and Alpo. Canonizing in tone, the articles’ intended audience were gangbangers, who, by dint of dwarfed thinking, actually aspired to be like Silk.
It was sick.
The outcome of such thinking and the lifestyle of “banging” never match the broadcast sales pitch. The reality of “banging” is you end up dead or you end up living out your days like a rat in a cement cage.
Today, Silk sits in the isolation unit of the Supemax prison in Florence, Colorado. Locked down. Silk has taken on religion. He is now part of the Nation of Islam. No longer is he Wayne ‘Silk’ Perry. Now he is Nkosi Shaka Zulu El. He’s even on MySpace, where he sustains his victimization at the hands of a conspiratorial and repressive government. In other words, he believes he is persecuted because of his skin color, not because he’s a mad-dog killer.