The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
A man just arrested in Virginia on murder-for-hire charges has ties to racist Christian Identity and KKK groups that hosted a “whites only” gathering and cross burning in 2012 in Alabama, a television station reports.
Dallas W. Brumback Jr., 35, of Sterling, Va., was arrested on Jan. 22 by Loudoun County sheriff’s detectives on a charge of attempted capital murder. The suspect is accused of making a $2,500 down-payment last November to have his ex-wife murdered in a $5,000 deal with a hit-man, charging documents allege.
Brumback is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday for a bond hearing. The suspect’s attorney, Caleb A. Kershner, of Leesburg, Va., did not return telephone calls from Hatewatch seeking comment.
Julie Carey, the Northern Virginia bureau chief for NBC4 Washington who broke the story on Monday, reported that court documents and interviews with Brumback’s neighbors revealed his ties to a “whites-only Christian organization.”
In July 2012, Brumback helped organize a racist gathering near Birmingham, Ala. where Ku Klux Klan banners were displayed and only certain white Christians were allowed, the station reported.
During that three-day racist gathering, Brumback, who said he lived in Virginia, told ABC 33/40, a television station in Birmingham, that he was a “pastor” with Christian Identity Ministries.
“The Ku Klux Klan is a political organization for white Christians,” Brumback told the Birmingham station in explaining the purpose of the gathering and cross-burning. He appeared with short hair in the 2012 video, a stark comparison to long hair and a beard at the time of his arrest.
News video from that gathering shows a banner listing the Ku Klux Klan Realm of Virginia and a website that’s no longer active.
The NBC4 report said Brumback and the woman he allegedly wanted killed filed for divorce in 2006, with his then-wife complaining he was in the Ku Klux Klan and that he “threatened to commit suicide by cop, prompting her to call police because of his erratic behavior.”
Brumback denied the suicide claim but not his KKK ties before the couple’s divorce was finalized in 2007, the Washington station reported. It’s unknown what motivated the murder for hire plot.
Brumback lives with his new wife and 3 children in a home on Redrose Drive in Sterling. His mother, Fay Brumback, lives next door. She hung up and wouldn’t respond to question and hung up when contacted by Hatewatch today.
Her ex-husband and the suspect’s estranged father, Dallas W. Brumback Sr., who also lives in Sterling, told Hatewatch he didn’t participate in the 2012 racist gathering in Alabama and wasn’t aware of his son’s involvement with hate groups.
NBC4 also reported that said some of Brumback’s neighbors “considered a threat because he frequently fired his weapon in his yard, killing crows and other animals” and frequently wore camouflage clothing. Other neighbors told the station that his activities didn’t bother them, but they confirmed his ties to white supremacist groups.
In a rural corner of Oregon — a microcosm of what once was the Wild West — local authorities decided they wouldn’t wait for “the feds” to put the snare on a gang of white supremacists that had been shooting up the town, causing mayhem.
Umatilla County Sheriff Stuart Roberts and District Attorney Daniel Primus took their case against members of the United Aryan Empire to a county grand jury last week and returned with three state racketeering indictments.
The grand jury, composed of local citizens, heard evidence against the white supremacist gang in a secret session in Pendleton, a western-theme community of 16,000 best known for an annual rodeo called the “Pendleton Roundup.”
The racketeering indictment is a “roundup” of its own sort — one that encompasses multiple alleged criminal acts in one charging document.
Named in separate indictments were Jeremiah Jerome Mauer, 30, the alleged founder of the United Aryan Empire, and members Warren Gerald Browning, 35, and Gregory Charles Tinnell, 43, all of Pendleton. Because of their prior records, they each face lengthy prison terms if convicted.
The racketeering indictments were returned less than three weeks after Pendleton police arrested the three felons on charges of shooting into occupied homes, detonating an explosive device and involvement in a large gang fight. At least five firearms, including an illegally sawed-off shotgun, were recovered during the investigation. Two other affiliates of the gang, Steven Ray Grangood, 22, and Sarah Frankfort, 30, also were arrested and face related criminal charges.
Federal authorities were made aware of the investigation and, at a minimum, easily could have brought federal firearms charges against the three defendants. But the federal investigative timeline, involving assistant U.S. attorneys in Portland and a federal grand jury, is a much longer one.
Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts made it clear in an interview with Hatewatch earlier this month that his department was aggressively pursuing the gang of white supremacists and was uncovering new crimes that had gone unreported for fear of reprisals.
The United Aryan Empire was a start-up white supremacist gang founded by Mauer, who failed in his attempt to join European Kindred, a neo-Nazi skinhead gang with multiple members in Portland and the state’s prison system, the chief said.
Mauer was charged with racketeering and 16 other counts, including conspiracy to commit murder, assault, riot, unlawful use of a weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The racketeering count against him lists 15 separate crimes – “predicate acts” – he allegedly carried out as part of the gang’s enterprise.
Tinnell was charged with racketeering and 20 other counts, including two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, assault, riot, six counts of recklessly endangering another person and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The racketeering count against Tinnell lists 18 separate crimes.
Browning is charged with 12 counts, including racketeering, listing nine separate criminal acts. The counts against him include conspiracy to commit murder, assault, riot and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The state “riot” charge brought against each of the defendants alleges they engaged in “tumultuous and violent conduct recklessly creating a grave risk of causing public alarm.”
The Utah State Supreme Court has taken what it describes as a “drastic measure” in forfeiting a convicted racist killer’s right to an attorney for a pending appeal.
Curtis Michael Allgier has forfeited his right to an attorney — paid for by taxpayers — because he “has repeatedly engaged in extreme dilatory, disruptive and threatening conduct,” the state’s highest court said in an 8-page ruling on Friday. Specifically, Allgier threatened the lives of his court-appointed defense attorneys, even mailing a letter to the home of one of them, the ruling said.
Forfeiture of the constitutional right to a court-appointed defense attorney “is a drastic measure,” the state high court ruling said, and a “defendant must engage in extreme conduct” before it may be imposed. “We conclude that making threats to the welfare of appointed counsel may constitute extreme conduct justifying a forfeiture of counsel,” the ruling said.
Allgier faced a possible death penalty for the 2007 shooting death of Utah corrections officer Stephen Anderson, who was killed with his own service revolver as he escorted Allgier to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. But in a plea deal, prosecutors removed the death penalty in exchange for Allgier’s pleas in 2012 to charges of aggravated murder, disarming a peace officer, aggravated escape, aggravated robbery and possession of a dangerous weapon.
A judge sentenced Allgier to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Almost immediately, he appealed, arguing he had ineffective assistance of counsel.
Allgier — whose body is covered with neo-Nazi and white supremacist tattoos — was given a court-appointed attorney from the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association for the appeal. But shortly thereafter that attorney filed a motion to withdraw because of an “irreparable breakdown in attorney-client relationship,” the Supreme Court ruling said.
To bolster his request to withdraw, the defense attorney said Allgier had filed a bar complaint against him and threatened “it [would] get very ugly” if the attorney didn’t bow out. Allgier’s bar complaint said he was “trying to be nice, but [would] resort to other means of removal” if the defense attorney wasn’t removed.
“He don’t [sic] want to learn how much I don’t give a damn,’’ Allgier said in the complaint.
Once that attorney was released, two new court-appointed attorneys were named to represent Allgier, but within a few weeks he filed his own motion demanding their removal, too. The convicted killer said he “refuse[d] these quacks forced upon [him]” and asked for another defense attorney appointed by a different judge.
The court denied that motion, but that didn’t stop Allgier from filing three more pro se motions, demanding removal of the two new defense attorneys without providing adequate documentation to support his claims, the Supreme Court justices said.
Allgier said his court-appointed attorneys “are the dumbest ass clowns I’ve ever had the EXTREME dishonorable displeasure of being forced to know.” He called them incompetent and ineffective and said “NEVER will they have the honor of being in my Aryan GOD presence or having any kind of contact with me, period!”
When those new attorneys attempted to withdraw from representing Allgier, the issue was appealed to the Utah State Supreme Court. The attorneys said as part of the “irreparable breakdown in attorney-client communication,” Allgier had removed the attorneys from his visiting list and refused delivery of their correspondence. Their motion also said Allgier has “leveled threats against counsel,” including statements that he “knows how to find people outside of prison” and has mailed documents to the home address of one of his new attorneys, an address that wasn’t provided to the inmate.
Court-appointed defense attorneys “perform an indispensable service to the administration of the criminal justice system,” the Supreme Court ruling said. Some defendants “may be very difficult to work with and unwilling to accept responsibility for their own actions” and others “may mistakenly assume that they are entitled to the appointed counsel of their choosing,” the ruling said.
“This is work that warrants gratitude from a client, yet it is work that actually may receive less gratitude, and doing it may require an exceptionally thick skin,” the court said. Even so, “appointed defense attorneys should not be required to fear for their own safety or that of their professional associates or families.”
It’s been a bad couple of weeks for homegrown domestic terrorism suspects, who can’t seem to get it into their troubled heads that plotting murderous mayhem on the Internet is not the best way to stay out of jail.
On Wednesday, federal agents swooped in and arrested a 20-year-old Ohio man in connection with a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol in an apparent act of jihad he allegedly discussed and planned with an informant on an instant messaging platform.
Last week in an unrelated case in Georgia, three alleged antigovernment militia members pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, according to the Rome News-Tribune. During several online conversations last winter, the men allegedly discussed using guerilla war tactics and bombings, targeting government buildings and offices, hoping to trigger an uprising of other militia groups and the overthrow of the government.
In the Ohio case, Christopher Lee Cornell and the informant first made contact with each other, according a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Ohio Wednesday, on Twitter in August 2014. The informant, seeking leniency in an unrelated criminal case, contacted the FBI in the fall of 2014 and told the authorities that Cornell had “posted comments and information supportive” of the Islamic State on Twitter.
On the Twitter accounts, Cornell used the name Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, and, according to the complaint, “voiced his support for violent jihad, as well as support for violent attacks committed by others in North America and elsewhere.”
Cornell allegedly wrote to the informant on a separate messaging platform in late August that he had been in contact with people overseas but did not think he would receive the green light to conduct a terrorist attack in the United States. Nevertheless, he allegedly told the informant he wanted to “go forward with violent jihad and opined that this would be their way of supporting” the Islamic State.
During a meeting with the informant in November, Cornell allegedly said that he “considered members of Congress as enemies” and his plan was to “detonate pipe bombs at and near the U.S. Capitol, then use firearms to shoot and kill employees and officials” there.
Cornell, who lived with his parents in an apartment in Green Township, was arrested Wednesday as he was loading into a car two rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition he had just purchased from a gun shop near Cincinnati. He was charged with attempting to kill a federal officer and with possession of a firearm with the intent to commit a violent crime.
His father, John Cornell, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he was skeptical of the charges against his son, a “momma’s boy who never left the house.”
“Everything you’re hearing in the media right now, they’re already painted him as some kind of terrorist,” the father told the paper. “They’ve painted him as some kind of jihadist. …(Christopher) is one of the most peace-loving people I know.”
The father said his son was a practicing Muslim and his son’s long beard and traditional Muslim dress made him a target for harassment. The father said once as his son was crossing a street “people driving by threw (objects) at him.”
In the Georgia case, which has not gotten much national attention, Brian Cannon, Cory Williamson and Terry Peace were arrested last winter. According to a nine-page federal criminal complaint, their goal was to force a declaration of martial law and spark a national uprising of militia groups by conducting a coordinated terror campaign that would create mass hysteria.
The men were originally arraigned last March on a charge of conspiracy to receive and possess a destructive device, according to the paper. But they have now been hit with a new indictment and a much more serious charge of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction as well as charges of conspiring to defraud the government. The new indictment and charges supersedes the previous indictment, the News-Tribune reports, adding that the weapons of mass destruction charge can carry up to a life term in prison.
The trio, the original complaint alleged, hatched much of the plot “in online chat discussions, which were monitored by [the] FBI, during which they chatted about carrying out an operation against the government.”
Police in the small northeastern Oregon city of Pendleton have arrested three suspected members of a nascent white supremacist gang believed to be responsible for a string of violence, including drive-by shootings and a bombing.
Jeremiah Jerome Mauer, 30, who is believed to be the founder of United Aryan Empire, was arrested last weekend on multiple charges of being a felon in possession of weapons, Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts told Hatewatch today.
Steven Ray Grangood, 22, was arrested at the same time and booked into the Umatilla County Jail on charges of illegally buying firearms and providing them to fellow gang members who are felons.
A third suspected member of the racist gang, Gregory Charles Tinnell, 43, was arrested Tuesday on charges of being a felon in possession of firearms.
The Pendleton police chief said an ongoing investigation suggests the United Aryan Empire is the brainchild of Mauer, a felon who was unsuccessful in his attempt to join European Kindred, a neo-Nazi skinhead gang with multiple members in Portland and others in the state’s prison system.
“We believe United Aryan Empire is a hybrid he (Mauer) created,” Stuart told Hatewatch. “I think it goes back to his desire to be somebody.”
The gang has been linked to at least three violent crimes. Now, with the three arrests gaining media attention, victims of other crimes linked to the group are coming forward and reporting other unknown incidents, Roberts said.
“We are now learning of other incidents that went unreported because the victims feared retaliation if they contacted police,” Stuart said. “This thing is big, quite frankly, in terms of what’s out there.”
Police became aware of the United Aryan Empire when members of the group, including Mauer, were involved in a large gang fight last October at a residence in Pendleton, Stuart said. Mauer sustained a serious head wound in that fight, while a member of a Hispanic gang suffered a severe knife wound in the abdomen.
On Nov. 23, members of UAE detonated an improvised explosive device outside another residence in north Pendleton before firing multiple rounds from a .45 caliber handgun into the occupied home, Stuart said. The home’s occupant was reluctant to cooperate with police, but officers did recover expended bullets from the walls of residence.
Then, on Christmas Eve, in another drive-by shooting, rounds from a .45 caliber handgun were fired into a third residence occupied by an excommunicated UAE who had refused to carry out an order from leaders of the gang, the police chief said.
No one was injured in that incident. Responding officers stopped and arrested Tinnell five blocks away from the shooting. He was carrying a .45 caliber bullet, a handgun ammunition clip and a holster, but he did not have a weapon. He was arrested on a weapons violation because he was carrying an illegal switchblade knife, Stuart said.
The investigation culminated with the serving of a search warrant last Saturday at Mauer’s residence in Pendleton, where police found five weapons, including a sawed-off shotgun and assorted “gang-related literature,” the chief said.
In recruiting members, the United Aryan Empire has said its goal is to rid the community of 17,000 of methamphetamine dealers. “They said, “We’re not about violence. We’re not about racism,’ but that is a total contradiction of the activities the group has carried out,” Stuart said.
The police chief said additional charges are possible after the Umatilla County District Attorney reviews the case and presents it to a county grand jury. Federal authorities, meanwhile, are aware of the investigation and monitoring developments, Stuart said.
The Justice Department targeted the “worst of the worst” in its just-concluded successful prosecutions of one of the largest and most-violent racist gangs in the United States – the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.
The man who supervised the six-year investigation, James Trusty, told Hatewatch in an exclusive interview today that the federal prosecutions didn’t eradicate the racist gang, but dealt a “severe blow” to its leadership and ability to commit crimes.
The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT), established in the early 1980s, is considered one of the most violent racist crime syndicates in the United States, modeled after the Aryan Brotherhood, a California-based prison gang formed during the 1960s.
In going after the ABT, prosecutors — led by David Karpel from the department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section in Washington, D.C. — obtained 17 separate indictments in judicial districts of Texas and Oklahoma, including one in 2012 in the Southern District of Texas that charged senior ABT leaders with racketeering.
The racketeering charge encompassed various crimes carried out by the gang — murders, attempted murders, conspiracies, arsons, assaults, robberies and drug trafficking — as part of its enterprise. The Justice Department dropped plans in September 2013 to seek the death penalty against some of the defendants. ( continue to full post… )
FBI agents and local law enforcement officials are seeking a middle-aged, balding white man this morning in connection with an explosion yesterday outside of the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP, the oldest civil rights organization in the country.
In a press statement, the FBI described the man as a “potential person of interest” who may have been driving “a 2000 or older model dirty, white pickup truck with paneling” and “a missing or covered license plate.”
An improvised explosive device (IED) was placed against the wall of the building on the 600 block of El Paso Street and exploded shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to The Gazette newspaper. There were two NAACP volunteers inside the office at the time of the explosion, which knocked items off the walls. No one was injured.
Gene Southerland, who owns Mr. G’s Hair Design Studio, which shares the building with the NAACP, told The Gazette that “neighbors came out and said they saw a Caucasian gentleman get into a white truck.”
“It was a beautiful day and everything, sunny,” Southerland added. “And in broad daylight, you hear this explosion. It’s frightening.”
The motive for the bombing is unknown at this time.
In a Tweet late Tuesday night, Cornell Brooks, the president of the NAACP, said, “Thankfully no one was hurt in a suspicious explosion at our Colorado Spring #NAACP office. We remain vigilant.”
There is good reason for the venerable civil rights organization to be vigilant. Here is a list of some earlier attacks on the NAACP:
1965: NAACP leader George Metcalfe is injured in Mississippi car bombing. He was trying to integrate the cafeteria of a local tire plant.
May 1981: Ten people are arrested, including Klan leaders from Maryland and Delaware, who were planning to bomb NAACP offices in Baltimore.
Summer 1989: Shots are fired into NAACP HQ in Baltimore.
August 1989: A tear gas mail bomb is sent to the Atlanta regional NAACP office. It goes off, injuring eight children who are patients of a pediatrician whose offices were located in the same building.
Dec. 18, 1989: Robert Robertson, chairman of the Legal Redress Committee of the Savannah, Ga., NAACP, is killed by a letter bomb in his Savannah office. The attack came two days after another mail bomb killed federal judge Robert Vance. Letter bombs were also sent to the federal courthouse in Atlanta and the Jacksonville, Fla., NAACP office, but were detected and defused. It turned out that the bomber was Walter Leroy Moody, whose main motive was resentment against the court system; his targeting of the NAACP is now believed to have been a diversion. After the killings, Moody sent a letter, signed by the Americans for a Competent Federal Judiciary, claiming they were in reprisal for the rape and murder of Julie Love, a young white woman in Atlanta, allegedly by two black men.,
July 20, 1993: Two neo-Nazis firebomb the NAACP office in Tacoma, Wash., damaging the building but causing no injuries. The main perpetrator, Mark Kowaalski, was a member of both the American Front racist skinhead gang and the neo-Nazi Church of the Creator.
Summer 1993: Arsonists attack the NAACP office in San Francisco.
Summer 1993: The Sacramento, Calif, NAACP office is firebombed.
Whatever the motive for the bombing in Colorado Springs, the NAACP chapter president, Henry Allen Jr., vowed to continue fighting for civil rights.
“We’ll move on,” Allen told The Gazette. “This won’t deter us from doing the job we want to do in the community.”
The FBI is now investigating the August death of a black 17-year-old football player whose family and friends believe he may have been the victim of foul play in Bladenboro, N.C.
State investigators ruled the death of Lennon Lacy a suicide, but his family and many others in the community wonder if he was the victim of a lynching, The Washington Post reports in today’s editions.
In another stunning development today, Lacy’s former girlfriend, Michelle Brimhall, broke her silence and told Dailymail.com that she believes Lennon Lacy was murdered because of their interracial relationship.
“I believe Lennon was murdered,” Brimhall told the online news site.
The 31-year-old woman said she had been “targeted by racists during” because of her relationship with a black teenager almost half her age. Brimhall, who is now living in Illinois, “fled the town for her own safety,” the Daily Mail reported.
In an interview with Don Lemon on CNN Tonight, the victim’s mother, Claudia Lacy, said there are inconsistencies in the evidence surrounding her son’s death.
“Do you think his death could have been racially motivated?” Lemon asked Claudia Lacy. “It could have been,” she responded.
Her son recently had broken up with Brimhall, who had three children, an ex-husband and a drug history, according to media reports. Brimhall denied any involvement with drugs in her interview with the Daily Mail.
Still, there are questions and inconsistencies over the way the death scene was processed. The victim’s hands were not covered with plastic bags, which is normal protocol, so forensic pathologists can check for foreign DNA and other evidence.
Most disturbing, the mother said, is that her son had just left home wearing a new pair of Air Jordan shoes. But they were never located after his lifeless body was found on Aug. 28 hanging from a wooden swing set with two belts tied around his neck. The shoes on his feet were two sizes too small, without shoe laces, and they weren’t his.
“It’s not feasible,” Claudia Lacy told CNN. “Two sizes too small? Why?”
Her son was excited about the start of school and his first home football game on Aug. 29. Investigators found no suicide note. The autopsy report makes no mention of the missing shoes or those found on the body.
The victim’s mother and private attorney Allen Rogers, of Fayetteville, along with Rev. William J.Barber II, the president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, asked U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina to request the FBI investigation. There was a march supporting that effort last weekend in Bladenboro.
“We are glad to hear that the request made by the North Carolina NAACP and the family of Lennon Lacy for a federal investigation has been accepted,” Barber said, adding there is a need for “a thorough investigation.”
“There are too many questions and contradictions raised by our independent pathology report and stories in the community about the facts, quick conclusions, and how the death scene was not protected,” Barber said in a statement released to Hatewatch.
A Kansas prosecutor said today that he will seek the death penalty against Frazier Glenn Miller, the longtime neo-Nazi and former Ku Klux Klan leader accused of killing three people last spring at two Jewish facilities in suburban Kansas City.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe filed notice of his decision shortly after a judge ruled that Miller, who is 74 and suffering from lung disease that has put him in the jail infirmary for days at a time, is mentally competent to stand trial for the killing spree, according to the Kansas City Star.
Last month, around the time a Johnson County district judge was ordering the competency evaluation for Miller, the elderly white supremacis told the Star in a series of telephone interviews from jail that he was convinced he was dying at the time of the shootings and “wanted to make damned sure I killed some Jews or attacked the Jews before I died.”
None of the three people killed on that bloody Sunday in April – Terri LaManno, 53, William Lewis Corporon, 69 and Corporon’s 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood – was Jewish.
Miller told the paper that he went to Jewish facilities in Overland Park, Kan. – a community center and a care center – “for the specific purpose of killing Jews.”
“Because of what I did, Jews feel less secure,” he boasted to the paper. “Every Jew in the world knows my name now and what I did. As for these white people who are accomplices of the Jews, who attend their meetings and contribute efforts to empower the Jews, they are my enemy, too. A lot of white people who associate with Jews, go to Jewish events and support them know that they’re not safe either, thanks to me.”
Corporon and his young grandson were shot outside the Jewish Community Center, where the boy was scheduled to audition for a singing contest with scores of other teenagers.
Miller told the paper that as he drove away from the center, “I have never felt such exhilaration. …Finally, I’d done something.”
Miller said he then drove to the Village Shalom care center, where LaManno was killed just outside the facility. LaManno was there to visit her elderly mother.
“After I shot her,” Miller told the Star, “another woman came right behind the woman’s vehicle that I’d just shot. Right behind it, 15 feet from me. …I had the shotgun pointed at her head from about 12 feet. I said, ‘Are you a Jew?’ She said, ‘What?’ By the second time, she knew why I was asking. She screamed, ‘No.’ So, I let her live.”
After the killing spree and his arrest, Miller sat handcuffed in the back of the police car and shouted through the mental mesh covering the back window, “Heil Hitler.”
In court today, after filing a notice with the court that prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Miller, the District Attorney placed a copy of the notice in front of Miller, who was dressed in a stripped inmate uniform and sitting in a wheelchair at the defense table but looking much healthier than in past court appearances.
“I don’t fear the death penalty,” Miller said, according to the Star. “I’m already dying.”
Police have arrested a 31-year-old white supremacist in connection with an ax murder last April of a fellow racist.
Christopher Paul Mason, of Phoenix, was arrested last Thursday. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bond on murder charges related to the death of Joshua Calkins, 35, also of Phoenix, The Arizona Republic reported.
The newspaper, citing court records, reported that both men were affiliated with an unidentified white supremacist prison gang.
Calkins’ body, wrapped in plastic, was dumped in an alley in northwest Phoenix and found later on April 16. His hands were tied behind his back, and bloody towels and bleach were discarded nearby, police said.
Calkins had extensive trauma and was nearly decapitated, leading a medical examiner to conclude he had been killed with an ax. “Interviews conducted in the coming months with more than 20 people would lead investigators to believe that the medical examiner’s guess was exactly right,” the Arizona newspaper reported.
Mason admitted to witnesses later interviewed by police that he had killed Calkins, saying, “I got him 13 times with an ax,” according to court records. Mason allegedly told some of the witnesses that he killed Calkins because he had robbed Mason’s former girlfriend at gunpoint.
In 2006, Mason pleaded guilty to forgery after attempting to cash a $700 stolen check to support his methamphetamine addiction.