2 ex-prison guards in KKK sentenced for plot to kill black inmate

(From left) David Elliot Moran and Charles Thomas Newcomb / Alachua County Jail / CBS News
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By: CBS News; WCTV Eyewitness News
September 22, 2017

LAKE CITY, Fla. -- Two former Florida prison guards who were members of the Ku Klux Klan have been sentenced for plotting to kill a black inmate after his release.

David Elliot Moran, 49, and Charles Thomas Newcomb, 45, have both been sentenced to 12 years in prison after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, Attorney General Pam Bondi's office said Friday.

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. Driver pleaded guilty to the same charge in March and was sentenced to four years in prison.

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.

Moran and the informant discussed in a recorded phone call how they would kill the victim. Newcomb allegedly showed the men syringes filled with insulin and a 9 mm handgun with ammunition that he said he had wiped clean of fingerprints.

"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," reads the indictment.

During the recorded call, Newcomb repeatedly referred to the victim using the n-word.

At the time of the murder conspiracy, Driver and Moran were guards at the Department of Corrections Reception and Medical Center in rural north Florida. Newcomb was a former correctional officer who had been fired in 2013 for failing to meet 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.”