A call came from the Sedgwick County Jail to a house where several members of the Crips gang used to hang out on a dead-end street near Murdock and Grove.
It was from another Crip, locked up and needing help. Edward Walker was charged with robbery, and a 17-year-old girl was set to testify against him.
That witness, Tisha Jones, needed to be silenced, the Crips decided.
Jason Tisdale admitted in federal court Thursday that he drove a getaway car that February night in 1998, as two other Crips went inside a duplex and shot Jones and her boyfriend, Keith James, to death while the couple's 7-month-old daughter slept in her crib.
Never miss a local story.
Tisdale, now 31, also pleaded guilty to taking a gun to a rap musician's house six years later. Tisdale ended up shot in the foot on the front porch by a fellow gang member. Umanah Smith, a member of the musical group Family Tyze, was shot dead at his kitchen table.
For helping plan and carry out those killings, Tisdale will face 30 years in prison, as part of a plea agreement signed Thursday before U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten.
Tisdale had faced a possible death sentence. U.S. Attorneys Blair Watson and Lanny Welch agreed to not seek the death penalty as part of the plea, worked out with defense lawyer Val Wachtel.
There is no parole from federal prison.
In his plea, Tisdale said he stole a Pontiac Bonneville on Feb. 3, 1998, and drove two unidentified Crips to 2226 S. Glendale, where Jones and James lived.
As Tisdale, then 18, waited in the car, the other two men went inside and shot Jones in the head, stomach and arm. James, 21, died from a single gunshot to the head, an autopsy showed.
Tisdale said the Crips planned the shooting in a house where the gang regularly met at 708 N. Madison.
A month after the killing, Walker pleaded guilty in Sedgwick County District Court to robbing Jones of her Tommy Hilfiger coat during a home invasion the previous November. Walker was sentenced to more than seven years in state prison.
Walker and Tisdale were among 28 men arrested during a federal sweep in July 2007. All were charged under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a law originally used to prosecute mobsters.
In 2009, a jury convicted five men of racketeering conspiracy. Others pleaded guilty to firearms, drugs or RICO charges. They've received sentences ranging from probation to more than 17 years in prison.
Walker and another man, Darryn Frierson, await sentencing in April.
Tisdale faced the most serious charges.
In addition to the Jones and James deaths, Tisdale also pleaded guilty to helping set up the killing of Umanah Smith.
Smith was supposed to perform with the Family Tyze on Aug. 4, 2004, at the Jungle Club, 2600 S. Oliver.
Some of the rappers belonged to the Lincoln Park Bloods gang, court record say.
A fight broke out between the Crips and Bloods. Later, several Bloods went to a party where Smith lived at 2532 N. Minnesota.
Tisdale said a group of Crips went to Smith's house about 3 a.m. the next day. Tisdale was shot in the foot on the front porch by one of his buddies.
Other Crips went inside through an unlocked door, shot and killed Smith and wounded two others.
Police found a spot of blood on the porch, had it tested for DNA, and it matched Tisdale.
Tisdale returns to court for sentencing May 12.