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Thursday, June 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Fla. AG Says Klansmen Plotted Inmate’s Murder

(CN) - Three Ku Klux Klan members working at a state prison in northern Florida were arrested Thursday for allegedly plotting the murder of a black inmate they believed had HIV and hepatitis and bit one of them during a fight.

The three men -- Thomas Driver, David Moran and Charles Newcomb -- each face one count of conspiracy to commit murder, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a written statement.

Prosecutors say the Klan members began plotting the murder after Driver, an officer with the Department of Corrections Reception and Medical Center in rural Lake Butler, Fla., got into a fight with the unidentified inmate.

Bondi said all three men are members of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and that the FBI learned of the murder plot through an informant inside the organization. Newcomb, who was fired from the corrections facility in 2013, has been identified as the "Exalted Cyclops" or leader of the Klan chapter, which is also known as a klavern.

The government says Driver provided a picture of the inmate to Newcomb and Moran -- a sergeant at the prison -- after the man was placed on supervised released.

The informant allegedly recorded multiple conversations between the men. Prosecutors say these range from discussion of how to kill the man, and then, after their first attempt failed, whether they should try again.

In March, the FBI gave the informant a cellphone containing a doctors photograph supposedly showing that the inmate had been fatally shot. The informant then recorded the gleeful reactions of the three men.

Bondi said her office will prosecute the case in Columbia County, Fla.

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