LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28 (JTA) — California will buttress its demand for the death penalty in the case of two white supremacists alleged to have murdered a gay couple by citing evidence that the defendants were involved in the June arson of three Sacramento synagogues.
Separate federal charges are expected to be filed within a month against brothers Benjamin Matthew Williams, 31, and James Tyler Williams, 29, in the firebombing of the synagogues and a Sacramento abortion clinic.
Shasta County District Attorney McGregor Scott told the Sacramento Bee newspaper last week, “We believe in good faith the evidence in the synagogue arsons and the abortion clinic arson will be admissible in the penalty phase of this case” to prove a hate crime motivation.
Investigators in the June 18 synagogue arsons reported that additional evidence and witnesses have been discovered linking the Williams brothers to the firebombings and indicating that they were assisted by members of a Sacramento-area hate group.
In recent weeks, the older Williams brother has given lengthy interviews to Northern California newspapers in which he applauded the synagogue arsons while stopping just short of admitting responsibility.
“They got what was coming to them,” Benjamin Matthew Williams told one reporter, referring to the arson attacks. “It’s the natural consequence of pushing the host” country “too far.”
Williams described himself as a rebel “against the tyranny of the Zionist occupation government.”
Before the June arsons, Williams attended a “Preparation Expo” in Sacramento for militia adherents and white supremacists, who, investigators say, expect a strongarm Jewish takeover of the U.S. government at the turn of the millennium, according to the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California.
The next hearing in the case is slated for Jan. 7, but the trial may not start before next fall.