Two members of the Ku Klux Klan, who worked as guards at a Florida prison, have been convicted of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder of a black inmate at their prison.
On Tuesday (August 15), a jury found 49-year-old David Elliot Moran and 54-year-old Charles Thomas Newcomb guilty of planning to kill an inmate after he was released from the Department of Corrections Reception and Medical Center in northern Florida.
Their plans were foiled when they unknowingly hired an FBI informant who posed as a hitman and recorded conversations of the murder plot. Subsequently Moran, Newcomb and 27-year-old Thomas Jordan Driver were arrested back in 2015.
“These Klansmen plotted to murder a black inmate after he was released from prison, but swift action and clever investigative tactics on behalf of investigators foiled their plot and may have saved a life,” Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a press release. “We will continue to work daily to ensure the KKK or any other hate-filled organization is unable to inflict violence on the citizens of our great state.”
The murder plot began after Driver was reportedly bitten during a fight with the inmate, who was believed to have been infected with HIV and hepatitis. Newcomb called the inmate the n-word in recorded conversations and came up with a plan to make the planned murder look like an accidental drowning incident.
“I set that fishing pole like he’s been fishing, and give him a couple shots, and we sit there and wait on him, we can kind of lay him like he just kind of tippled over into the water. And he can breathe in just a little bit of that water,” he said in conversation presented by the Miami-Herald.
Driver pleaded guilty to the charges back in March and was sentenced to four years. Newcomb and Moran are still awaiting sentencing.