Lake City, FL — Two ex-correctional officers with ties to the Ku Klux Klan have been sentenced for planning to kill a Black inmate upon his release from a Florida institution.
David Elliot Moran, 49, and Charles Thomas Newcomb, 45, will both serve 12 years behind bars after being convicted of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, the office of Attorney General Pam Bondi revealed Friday.
Their plot to murder the Black inmate began after a third guard and Klan member, 27-year-old Thomas Jordan Driver, was bitten during a scuffle with the prisoner, who they thought was infected with HIV and hepatitis. Driver entered a guilty plea to the same charge in March and received a sentence of four years in prison.
All three individuals were apprehended in 2015 after an investigation involving federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The collaborative investigation found that Newcomb, Moran and Driver hired an FBI informant to murder the ex-inmate. The details surrounding the murder plot were recorded in conversations between the three former CO’s and the FBI informant.
Moran and the informant spoke about how they planned to kill their target in a recorded phone call. Newcomb reportedly presented the men with syringes containing insulin and a loaded 9mm handgun that he said he had wiped down to remove any fingerprints.
The indictment states that, “Newcomb pointed out that if they could grab (the victim) and take him to the river he would need to bring a fishing pole to make it look like (the victim) was at the river fishing.”
During the tapped phone call, Newcomb constantly mentioned the victim using the n-word.
At the time the men were putting all of this together, Driver and Moran worked as guards at the Department of Corrections Reception and Medical Center located in northern Florida. Prior to being fired in 2013, Newcomb worked as a correctional officer, but was let go for failing to fulfill training requirements, according to department records.
“Florida is a safer state with these Klansmen behind bars,” Attorney General Bondi said in a news release. “Hate groups have no place in a civilized society and when members of these organizations plot violence and murder—we will be there to ensure justice is served and our citizens are protected.”