WICHITA -- Jason Tisdale will not face the death penalty.
Tisdale, 31, pleaded guilty to participating in three Wichita murders as a member of the Crips street gang during a hearing in federal court this afternoon.
As part of his plea, the U.S. Attorneys Office agreed not to seek the death penalty and to recommend a sentence that will send Tisdale to prison for 30 years. There is no parole from federal prison
Tisdale pleaded guilty to conspiracy and racketeering, including murder, robbery and arson.
U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Martin set Tisdale's sentencing for May 12.
Tisdale was among 28 men charged in a 2007 federal indictment as parts of various Crips sets in Wichita.
He admitted to driving the get-away car in the 1998 killing of Tisha Jones and Keith James. At the time of the shooting, police said Jones was scheduled to testify as a witness in a robbery trial of a Crips gang member.
Tisdale also pleaded guilty to being involved at 2004 death of Umanah Smith.
According to court records, Smith was a member of a musical group scheduled to play at a Wichita nightclub. But the performance was canceled after a fight broke out between members of the Crips and Bloods gangs. Several "Blood" members ended up at Smith's house at 2532 N. Minnesota later that evening. Tisdale admitted he accompanied other armed Crips to the house, where Smith was shot and killed. The Blood gang members had already left, according to Tisdale's plea agreement.
Federal prosecutors in Wichita have used the federal death penalty law in three other cases. None have resulted in a death sentence that survived an appeal.
Read Tisdale’s plea agreement. He gives details of the crimes on pages 2-8.