Rather than risk a second jury trial, a woman described as a ringleader of an Orange County, Calif., white supremacist gang pleaded guilty this week to charges of kidnapping, extortion and aggravated assault.
Ruthie Christine “Big Mama” Marshall, a 45-year-old bartender who lived in Garden Grove, Calif., faces 20 years in prison when she is sentenced in March, the Orange County Register reported.
Marshall is the wife of Wayne Jason “Bullet” Marshall, identified as a “shot-caller” with a lengthy record of violence and ties to the white supremacist gangs in Southern California.
The Marshalls were among three dozen reputed white supremacy gang members arrested in Orange County in late 2010 in a multi-agency task force called “Operation Stormfront.” The operation targeted white racist prison and street gangs whose criminal reach spanned from the prisons and county jails to the streets.
“Operation Stormfront also shed light on the influence loyal females play in these type of criminal organizations,” Special Agent Eric Kraus with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, who was part of Operations Stormfront, told Hatewatch.
As the investigation unfolded, almost 50 gang members were arrested in Orange County, which has among the highest concentration of white supremacist gangs in the United States.
“The bottom line is that some very, very, very serious bad guys have been taken off the street for a long time—if not for life,’’ Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said at the time of the arrests.
Those arrests were affiliated with a gang called Public Enemy No. 1 (PEN1), based in Huntington Beach, Calif.; the Aryan Brotherhood, which has members in and out of prisons; La Mirada Punks, West Coast Costa Mesa Skins; Nazi Low Riders and the O.C. Skins, authorities said.
Ruthie Marshall was the first to go to trial, but it ended in a mistrial in August 2011 in Santa Ana, Calif., after the jury deadlocked in an 11-1 vote favoring conviction, the Orange County Register reported at the time.
The felony charges against her alleged she was angry that police impounded her car after a friend borrowed it without her permission. She and another defendant, Jeffrey Peek, allegedly lured the friend in July 2010 to a motel, “where he was beaten and told to cough up the impound fees,” the Orange County newspaper reported.
The following month, the victim was lured to another motel where Marshall, Alexander Manfred Lind and Jesse Raffensberger beat him again, according to prosecutors. Lind and Raffensberger pleaded guilty and were sentenced to seven years to life in prison.
Ruthie Marshall was accused of being a “shot caller,” passing along directions to other gang members through a series of phone calls she had with her imprisoned husband, who has been in jail since 2008. His criminal record goes back to at least 1999.
After the mistrial, prosecutors said they would seek a re-trial, but that hasn’t occurred the past four years while Ruthie Marshall has remained in the Orange County Jail without bond.
At next month’s sentencing hearing, she is expected to get credit for time served, but will receive a sentencing enhancement for involvement in gang activity.
Her husband, who’s also known as Wayne Jackson Marshall, pleaded guilty in December 2012 to a series of violent gang-related felonies that stretch back to 2003. He remains in the Orange County Jail, awaiting sentencing in August.