An accused Memphis gang leader is now facing 15 years in prison for shooting another Vice Lord. Ronald Terry changed his plea halfway through closing arguments today.
But before Terry changed his plea he took the witness stand and gave jurors a detailed look at the Vice Lords organization.
"That was August the 10th, 1998," he says, remembering the day he was "blessed-in" to the Vice Lords gang. He says he moved up fast in the organization.
According to Terry, the Vice Lords operate like a government, complete with officers. Terry became a Five Star Universal Elite and was given South Memphis as his territory.
"They form a committee from each branch, that's what makes up the nation, not no one person," he says.
But Memphis police say Ronald "porky" "big pork" Terry is the one person at the top of the Vice Lords in Memphis.
Testifying in his attempted murder trial, Terry outlined the organization, showing-off a chart of the Conservative branch of the gang. Terry told the jury he was in the UVL or Unknown Vice Lords.
He claims the gang takes its symbolism from the back of a dollar bill. "The pyramid on the dollar bill has 21 bricks in it. That's how many branches is within the organization."
And the eye on the dollar "is the eye of Allah watching over his people," he says.
Terry says many of the gangs concepts are rooted in the Islamic faith. Gang members even memorize verses from the Koran as part of their initiation.
And then there's the star. "That's the symbol of the Vice Lord Nation," he says.
"It's not what the nation can do for you, it's what you can do for the nation."
Vice Lords even have bi-laws...made by the committee. "You have literature, you have laws and principles that you abide by." And they meet every Friday.
Terry says he gave up gang life in 2004. Terry says by showing off how the gang is organized, he's putting his life, and his family member's lives in danger.