White supremacist gang member charged in second murder

A member of a white supremacist gang already serving time for murder was charged today with murder with special circumstances for his alleged role in the slaying of a Public Enemy Number One gang founder.

Billy Joe Johnson, 44, was charged by Orange County prosecutors with felony conspiracy to commit a crime and felony accessory after the fact in the 2002 death of Scott Miller. Prosecutors also filed enhancements that make Johnson subject to the death penalty.

The district attorney’s office said it had not decided whether to seek death.

Johnson, who is serving a sentence of 45 years to life in prison for beating a man to death with a hammer, was a central defense witness for Michael Lamb and Jacob Rump during their trial this summer in Miller’s murder.

Johnson testified that it was he who killed Miller and that he did so because he was upset with Miller for discussing the gang on a television news show and because of problems between them involving women.

Lamb and Rump were convicted. Lamb, the alleged triggerman, is facing a second death penalty hearing after a jury deadlocked after the first hearing. Rump faces up to life in prison without parole at his Aug. 31 sentencing.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday August 24, 2007.
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