Two white supremacist gang members were sentenced to death this week after being convicted of killing a third gang member while incarcerated at a Texas prison in 2014.
Ricky Fackrell, 34, from Vernal, Utah, and Christopher Cramer, 36, of Ogden, Utah were both incarcerated at a prison in Beaumont, Texas when they began conspiring to kill fellow inmate Leo Johns in March 2014, according to a press release from the Department of Justice. All three men were members of the white supremacist prison gang Soldiers of the Aryan Culture.
Cramer and Fackrell stabbed Leo Johns to death in June 2014 and were indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder nearly two years later, on March 3, 2016.
Both men were convicted by a federal jury of murder in the first degree on May 9. They were sentenced to death on Wednesday after the jury spent eight hours deliberating.
“White supremacists subscribe to a repugnant, hateful ideology and use it to justify criminal activity,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in response to the sentencing, according to the Department of Justice. “The murder committed in this case was an act of senseless, barbaric violence. Now that the jury has spoken, justice will be done.”
“I want to thank our fabulous prosecutors John Craft, Joseph Batte, and Sonia Jimenez for their hard work,” he continued. “With their help, this Department will continue to prosecute violent criminals with the aggressiveness and relentlessness necessary in cases like these.”
U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown expressed a similar sentiment.
“These defendants had a violent history, and when the murder happens in a prison, it is clear that the defendants are always going to be a danger,” Brown said. “This was an appropriate case for the death penalty and we will continue to seek that punishment in the worst cases.”
Cramer and Fackrell were both serving time for unrelated armed robberies, while Johns was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, NBC News reports.
According to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Davilyn Walston, the slaying likely occurred because one gang member offended another, NBC News reports.
[Photo: Close-up photo of male feet in chains. By mediaphotos via Getty Images]