Ex-Neo Nazi Convicted of Killing 2 Roommates Warns at Sentencing: ‘Stay Away From Extremist Groups’
Six years after killing his two roommates, a Florida man from a neo-Nazi group admitted to the murders on the day his trial was set to begin.
On May 8, Devon Arthurs, 24, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in exchange for a sentence of 45 years in prison. With the plea deal, Arthur avoided a possible life sentence.
In 2017, Arthurs killed his roommates, Andrew Oneschuk, 18, and Jeremy Himmelman, 22, at the Tampa apartment they shared.
After his arrest, Arthurs told police that all three of them were part of a neo-Nazi group called the Atomwaffen Division. Atomwaffen is German for “nuclear weapons,” CTV News reported.
He claimed his roommates ridiculed him for his conversion to Islam, so he shot them with an assault-style rifle.
Investigators searched the apartment and took into evidence guns, ammunition and bomb-making materials. They also found a framed picture of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh on a bedroom dresser.
Arthurs told investigators the group planned terrorist attacks, possibly against nuclear plants, because “they want to build a Fourth Reich.” He also claimed he “prevented the deaths of a lot of people.”
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Arthurs’ case has been delayed several times since 2017. He was declared incompetent to stand trial in 2018 and 2020 after doctors diagnosed him with schizophrenia, autism and other mental illnesses.
After receiving treatment, a judge in June 2022 determined the defendant's mental capacity was sufficiently restored to stand trial.
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During his plea hearing, Arthurs said he could be an “advocate against extremism” and he wanted to “tell the world to stay away from extremist groups,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.
In a statement, State Attorney Suzy Lopez said, "The victims' families are satisfied with this outcome, which allows them to avoid a painful trial while knowing the defendant will have to dwell upon the pain he has caused for the next several decades behind bars," CTV News reported.
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