Two former Florida prison guards who were members of the Ku Klux Klan have been convicted of plotting to murder a black inmate.
A Columbia County jury found David Elliot Moran, 49, and Charles Thomas Newcomb, 45, guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office said Tuesday. No date has been set for sentencing, reported Huff Post. They each face up to 30 years in prison.
The murder plot started after a third guard and Klan member, Thomas Jordan Driver, 27, was bitten during a fight with the inmate, who they believed was infected with HIV and hepatitis.
Both Moran and Newcomb, who worked for the Florida Department of Corrections, pleaded not guilty to the charges in April 2015, News Jax 4 reported at the time.
A third guard, Thomas Jordan Driver, 27, pleaded guilty in March to one count of conspiracy to commit murder. He was sentenced to four years in prison, according to Bondi’s office.
“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,” Bondi said in a news 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.”
All three men were arrested in 2015 after an investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The joint investigation revealed that Newcomb, Moran and Driver enlisted an FBI informant to kill the former inmate. Recorded conversations between the three former guards and the FBI informant revealed the murder plot.
(Article By James Carter)