In what may have been acclaimed homicide prosecutor Ebrahim Baytieh's easiest conviction, a jury this afternoon found Billy Joe Johnson--the notorious, wide-eyed and lisping Costa Mesa white supremacist--guilty in the 2002 conspiracy to execute a fellow pro-Hitler gangster who committed an apparently unforgivable sin: talking to Fox News.
Today's relatively rapid decision likely was not a surprise to Johnson, who previously took sole credit for killing Scott Miller in Anaheim in a ridiculously obvious effort to score points with two other Public Enemy Number One (PEN1) thugs, Jacob Rump and Michael Lamb, who faced trial for Miller's killing. Johnson's taxpayer-funded defense lawyer, the ever-sweating Michael Molfetta, had no choice but to concede his client's guilt.
Baytieh--who in the past gained courthouse respect for his tireless pursuit of Vietnamese hoodlums--now has convicted Rump, Lamb and Johnson in Miller's brutal ambush murder. Rump, a dim-witted drug addict with a fondness for Nazi symbols, is serving a life in prison sentence. Lamb, once a promising baseball player from Dana Point and the man who pulled the trigger on Miller, lives on California's death row in San Quentin State Prison.
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According to Baytieh, Johnson--already in prison for the next half century because of a gory Huntington Beach hammer murder--confessed to solely killing Miller in hopes of winning PEN1 prison protection from the Aryan Brotherhood (AB), who allegedly authorized his execution years ago for not following AB instructions in prison.
The current jury--which is heavily dominated by middle-aged white men--will next decide if Johnson, a 46-year-old former Nazi Low Rider, should join Lamb in the traffic-jam lineup for state-sponsored execution.
Count on Johnson, who openly drools at female jurors when they enter the courtroom, to continue to assist in his own demise.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly