Two Klansmen and former guards at a Florida prison have been convicted for plotting to kill a released inmate, and a third Klansman who already pleaded guilty is serving a four year sentence, The Associated Press reports.
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The murder plot began when Thomas Jordan Driver, the Klansman who plead guilty, was bitten by an incarcerated Black man during a fight in the Department of Corrections Reception and Medical Center. Fellow Klansman David Elliot Moran was also working at the center. The third Klansman involved, Charles Thomas Newcomb, had already been fired in 2013 for failing to complete training. The three men believed that the man who bit Driver was infected with HIV and Hepatitis C, and they began negotiations with an FBI informant to kill the man when he was released from prison.
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The office of Attorney General Pam Bondi released a statement about the murder plot and subsequent convictions, according to The AP:
“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. 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.”
Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies cooperated to investigate the murder plot in 2015. The Klansmen were found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder by a Columbia County jury on Tuesday.