Prosecutors in Tennessee say they will seek enhanced prison sentences for five Aryan Nations members who have been arrested on attempted murder and other charges in the severe beating of a fellow white supremacist.
The tougher sentences will be sought, prosecutors say, because the five suspects are suspected gang members who carried out the alleged crimes as part of the group’s activity.
Arrested last week were Leonard Lionel Kilgore, 36, of Knoxville, Tenn., and Jacob Eli Campbell, 33, and Michael James O’Conner, Jr., 32, both of Sevierville, Tenn.
David Lee Dozard II, 32, who currently is in a Tennessee state prison on unrelated charges, was served there with charging documents, Anderson County Sheriff Paul N. White said in a news release.
The fifth suspect and the last to be arrested, Crystal Lynnette McGuire, 37, of Powell, Tenn., was taken into custody on Wednesday following a traffic stop in Louisiana, WATE-TV in Knoxville reported.
Prosecutors took their case in the “severe beating” of a 31-year-old Briceville, Tenn., man in December to an Anderson County grand jury last week, and the panel returned indictments against the five suspects, the sheriff said.
“All five persons charged in this case are members of the Aryan Nations gang,” said Sheriff White.
The five suspects face charges of attempted first degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy.
Kilgore, Campbell and O’Conner are being held in the Anderson County Jail in Clinton, Tenn., on $100,000 bond each. Dozard is in state prison and McGuire is expected to be extradited from Louisiana to Tennessee.
According to Anderson County Assistant District Attorney Ryan Spitzer, the victim was also an Aryan Nations member. Authorities didn’t disclose the victim’s identity or why he was the target of the attack.
“The attack was believed to be a part of the business of the organization --essentially a punishment of one of [its] own members,” Anderson County Assistant District Attorney Ryan Spitzer told the Knoxville television station. He didn’t immediately return a call when Hatewatch attempted to reach him today for comment.Spitzer said that the suspected gang members are not solely driven by matters of race but instead focus on organized crime to make money.