Talladega County Man Pleads Guilty to Murder for Hire
BIRMINGHAM -- A Talladega County man pleaded guilty today in federal court to attempting to hire a member of the Ku Klux Klan to murder an African-American neighbor he suspected of raping his wife, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein Jr.
ALLEN WAYNE DENSEN MORGAN, 29, of Munford, entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre to one count of using and causing someone else to use interstate facilities and travel -- a telephone and a motor vehicle -- with the intent to commit a murder-for hire. Morgan's sentencing is scheduled Feb. 27.
“The defendant attempted to arrange the brutal murder of his neighbor as vengeance for a perceived wrong,” said Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. “The Justice Department will prosecute with vigor those who seek violent vigilantism.”
"This defendant’s effort to solicit a murder for hire is a federal crime," Vance said. "The prosecution here was swift and the punishment will be in a federal penitentiary. Future wrongdoers are on notice that we vigorously prosecute these crimes."
Federal officials arrested Morgan in August after he told FBI agents posing as members of the KKK that he would pay them to murder his neighbor. Morgan admitted he offered a watch, a necklace and a gun as payment for the murder and gave explicit details for the man's torture and murder.
Morgan's efforts to arrange the paid murder of his neighbor unfolded as follows, according to his plea:
Morgan talked to an undercover FBI agent by telephone on Aug. 22, who identified himself as a KKK member. The men arranged to meet three days later at an Oxford motel to discuss payment for the murder. In that phone conversation, Morgan used a racial slur to describe the man he wanted killed and bragged that he had just fired several shots toward the man to intimidate him. Morgan also described, in detail, how he wanted the man "hung from a tree like a deer and gutted," to have body parts cut off, and to "die a slow, painful death."
Morgan faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Pat Meadows and John B. Felton of the Northern District of Alabama and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney David Reese are prosecuting the case.
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