Christina Garner and Jeremy Jones charged with hate crime murder of Justin Peoples black navy veteran following confrontation at Tracy gas station in California. History of affiliation with white supremacist groups and murder predicated on racial bias.
A California couple affiliated with neo-Nazi skinheads have been charged with murder as a hate crime for allegedly fatally shooting and stabbing an unarmed black Navy veteran during a recent attack at a Tracy gas station according to authorities.
Christina Lyn Garner, 42, of Manteca, and Jeremy Wayne Jones, 49, of Stockton, had already been charged with murder after last week’s fatal shooting of 30 year old navy veteran, Justin Peoples.
Peoples according to Tracy detectives was slayed following a confrontation with Garner and Jones, ABC reported.
San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar on Friday announced that she believed her office had collected enough evidence to update charges against Garner and Jones to murder as a hate crime.
In addition to the murder and hate crime charges, the pair face counts intentional discharge of a firearm causing great bodily harm or death, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, use of a deadly weapon. Garner was also charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Violence leading to murder predicated on racial bias
Peoples, a father-of-two working two jobs, had pulled up at a Chevron gas station in Tracy, about 60 miles from San Francisco, around 9pm on March 15.
Garner and Jones shot and stabbed Peoples multiple times, before fleeing the scene, authorities said.
Peoples was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died hours later, and the couple was arrested the following day.
A third person, 58-year-old Christopher Angelo Dimenco, was also arrested for helping Jones and Garner’s escape the scene.
Tracy law enforcement described the attack as ‘a senseless act of violence,’ with the DA adding the hate crime charges against Garner and Jones after reviewing evidence that linked them to the skinheads and the Aryan Brotherhood KCRA reported.
In court evidence shared by prosecutors of Jones, the words ‘WHITE’ and ‘PRIDE’ can be seen inked on the skin on the back of his right and left biceps. A closeup of a skeleton tattoo on Jones’ back also shows a swastika.
The couple is in police custody and is expected back in court for an arraignment hearing on April 4.
‘No one should be victimized because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion,’
‘There is no place for hate in our community. No one should be victimized because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion,‘ Salazar said in a statement.
‘These types of crimes are reprehensible and my administration will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law to hold those who perpetuate hate accountable.’
Prosecutors said they were able to collect evidence against the defendants from posts they had made on social media showing off their tattoos and alluding to Norse mythology and symbols misused by white supremacists, The Daily Beast reported.
Jones had recently gotten a tattoo with Garner’s name, CHRISTINA, across his neck, and commented he got inked because he wanted to show his love for her.
‘I Love my family and my brothers and sisters with a love that I feel in my gut .It’s not some fake I can’t wait to get rid of you love… I will tell you this one time stay out of my way and away from my people. We got some [living] to do. Victory or Va[l]halla,’ Jones posted on Facebook in November.
Valhalla, a heaven where heroes go in Norse mythology, has been mis-referenced by white supremacists trying to find a link between the mythology and racial purity.
‘No room for hate’
‘There is no room for hate in Tracy or anywhere,’ Tracy Police Chief Sekou Millington said after the charges were filed on Friday.
‘When community members are victims of crimes related to hare, we will use our resources to bring those responsible to justice,’ he added.
‘He was a remarkable young man,’ Peoples’ father, Maurice, said on Monday. ‘This is where racism stops. It stops right here. Justice for Justin.’
Maurice said he had received a text from his son hours before the murder, telling him he’d meet Maurice the next day for lunch.
‘It’s going to always hurt. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,’ the grieving father told Channel 3000.
‘It’s going to be a long hard trial and tribulation in my heart.’
Maurice also said his son was working two jobs and saving to buy a home.
‘I don’t care what color you are – stand for this baby who didn’t deserve to die,’ another relative of People, Bernice Bass, said Monday.
Jones has a long criminal history dating to 2007 and includes charges for stolen property and violent felonies.
Peoples had been arrested earlier this year and charged with drug and firearm possession after police seized Ecstasy, Xanax, crack cocaine, fentanyl and LSD found inside his vehicle, according to a Facebook statement by the San Jose County Sheriff’s Office last month.