A District Court jury in Lubbock, Texas, sentenced a white supremacist to the maximum prison term allowed for murdering a man at a convenience store in 2007.
On August 28, 2008, the jury sentenced Mitchell Erin Wachholtz, 37, to 99 years in prison for the shooting death of a 21-year-old man at a 7-Eleven in Lubbock on July 2, 2007.
Waccholtz allegedly engaged in an argument involving racial comments with a customer at the store, following which he briefly left the store before returning and opening fire on the victim, hitting him three times. The victim died moments later in his brother's arms. A second victim was wounded. The incident was caught on a surveillance camera.
The deceased, who was of Hispanic and African-American descent, was at the store with his two brothers. The brothers later identified Wachholtz as the shooter.
During the trial, the prosecution presented testimony from the man who was with Wachholtz in the store on the night of the incident. Brady Herzog testified that Wachholtz, whom he referred to as "Bullet," told him that he was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, a racist prison gang. Herzog further testified that his association with Wachholtz stemmed from their mutual methamphetamine use.
Wachholtz has a violent criminal history, and was on parole at the time of the murder. In November 2003, he was sentenced to five years in prison for aggravated assault against his wife. He had previously been convicted of assault against his wife in 2000.
Waccholtz would have been in prison at the time of the murder, but was granted an early release in 2006, despite a 2003 recommendation opposing parole by the Lubbock District Attorney's Office. Wachholtz was released on mandatory supervision. According to court documents, the day before the convenience store murder, Wachholtz allegedly assaulted and robbed a woman at gunpoint.
The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (also known as Texas Aryan Brotherhood) is the largest white supremacist prison gang in Texas, with over 900 incarcerated members and hundreds more on the streets in Texas and neighboring states. Members have engaged in criminal activity ranging from hate crimes to violent assaults to narcotics violations. The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas is not related to the similarly-named Aryan Brotherhood, with which it is frequently confused but which is not active in Texas.