Feds cite bloody handprint, texts to keep alleged gang member jailed until trial
Several alleged members of the white supremacist 1488 gang are in custody, according to an announcement made by Alaska's U.S. Attorney's Office last week. Now, prosecutors are presenting some of their evidence, in an effort to keep them there until trial.
The arrests centered around the 2017 murder of a 1488 gang member, a killing concealed from the public until last week.
According to federal court documents, multiple members of the 1488 lured 34-year-old Michael Staton, known as "Steak Knife," to the home of Craig King, known as "Oakie," in August of 2017. Prosecutors say Staton was a member of the 1488s, and King is a member of Hells Angels, a violent motorcycle gang. King believed Staton had stolen items from him, including his Hells Angels vest.
According to a memorandum filed Wednesday, King offered members of the 1488 drugs and money if they brought Staton to him for revenge.
King allegedly sent the following text messages:
- "I'm ready for that m*********** any time"
- "You send that piece of s*** to me to my front door I would greatly appreciate it"
- "I'll take it as a very very personal favor if I can get my hands on that son of a b****"
King is accused of preparing a room in the Wasilla duplex where he lived in advance of Staton's brutal beating. He put down plastic, which ended up tearing, according to court documents, and leaving behind a handprint in blood residue that investigators would find later.
The document alleges after the beating, Staton was shot and his body was burned, and that King helped the gang members destroy the clothing they were wearing.
King's criminal past is also offered as supporting evidence that he should remain in custody in the court document:
"King has four prior convictions in California, five prior convictions in Alaska, and a felony conviction in Arkansas. Although many of these charges were relatively minor, King has consistently failed to appear in court to answer them. He has failed to appear in two cases in California and two cases in Alaska, and there is an active bench warrant in his Arkansas case. If King is so cavalier about his court appearances when the stakes are low, it is difficult to believe that he will be more punctilious when, quite literally, the rest of his life is at stake. King has also repeatedly violated his conditions of probation in his prior cases — a lack of interest in following court orders that bodes poorly for his prospects if he is released."
King is one of eight people charged in the murder. Two of them, have already pleaded guilty.
On Thursday, Chloe Martin with the U.S. Attorney's Office said it was decided King be kept in custody until trial.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the outcome of the detention hearing.
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