Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
October 29, 2009
Susan Kang Schroeder
JURY RECOMMENDS DEATH PENALTY FOR WHITE SUPREMACIST GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF CONSPIRACY MURDER OF FELLOW GANG MEMBER WHO DIVULGED GANG SECRETS ON TV
*Two co-defendants have been convicted in this case; one was also sentenced to the death penalty
SANTA ANA – A jury recommended the death penalty today for a white supremacist gang member convicted for his involvement in the 2002 gang conspiracy murder of a fellow gang member who divulged gang secrets on television. Billy Joe Johnson, 46, was found guilty Oct. 14, 2009, of one felony count each of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and accessory after the fact. The sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity, the vicarious discharge of a firearm by a gang member causing death, murder by lying in wait, and murder committed for a criminal street gang purpose were found true. Johnson has three prior strike convictions for a 1983 residential burglary, 1989 robbery, and for beating an inmate in prison in 1995. He is currently serving a sentence of 45 years to life in prison for a 2006 conviction for a 2004 gang related murder.
Johnson was charged with this murder on Aug. 23, 2007, after the conviction of two previously charged co-defendants. He is scheduled to be formally sentenced Nov. 20, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Co-defendants Michael Allen Lamb, 35, and Jacob Anthony Rump, 34, (Case #03CF0441) were convicted by a jury on July 10, 2007, of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, committing murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang, two counts of possession of a firearm by a violent felon, two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, carrying a firearm as an active gang member, two counts of street terrorism, and the attempted murder of a peace officer. The jury also found true the special circumstance of murder committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang and sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity, the personal discharge of a firearm causing death, and vicarious discharge of a firearm causing death as a gang member. On Oct. 5, 2007, Rump was sentenced to the maximum sentence, as sought by the People, of life without the possibility of parole. On June 11, 2008, a jury recommended that Lamb receive the death penalty. Lamb was sentenced Aug. 22, 2008, to death.
The Murder of Scott Miller
In February 2001, Fox 11 News profiled a violent white supremacist criminal street gang, focusing on a pending criminal case against known leaders of the gang who were on trial for conspiracy to commit murder. Scott Miller, a founding member of the gang, was featured in the broadcast, offending fellow gang members who felt he was airing “dirty laundry.” While Miller’s voice and face were disguised, his tattoos were visible and made it possible for fellow gang members to identify him.
On March 8, 2002, Miller was at a party in Costa Mesa with other members of his white supremacist gang. Johnson lured Miller from the party under the guise of purchasing drugs in Anaheim with the understanding that they would return to the party later. Johnson drove an unsuspecting Miller to an Anaheim apartment complex with the expectation that Lamb and Rump would be waiting there to murder the victim. Lamb and Rump were waiting in an alley and executed Miller by shooting him in the back of the head at close