Posted: May 1, 2003
Prosecutors in Pierce County, Washington, have charged four white supremacists in connection with the brutal beating and murder of a homeless man in Tacoma.
Scotty James Butters, 20, Kurtis William Monschke, 19, David Nikos Pillatos, 19, and Tristian Lynn Frye, 22, are charged with first-degree aggravated murder in the March 23, 2003 killing of Randall Mark Townsend, 42, a homeless man.
According to prosecutors, the four assailants, all members of a white supremacist gang, attacked Townsend with baseball bats, a boulder, and their fists and boots during the assault. Pillatos is alleged to have hit the victim in the face with a baseball bat and a large rock, while Butters, Monschke and Frye allegedly punched, stomped and kicked him repeatedly. Townsend died on April 12 of injuries he sustained in the assault.
Prosecutors said the assailants were hunting for African-American drug addicts as part of a gang initiation rite when they encountered Townsend under the East 26 Street Bridge. The court documents allege that Frye wanted to earn red laces for her boots, a reward given to skinheads who physically assault enemy "parasites" and cause them to bleed.
Butters, Monschke and Pillatos all have swastika tattoos and have admitted involvement in the white supremacist movement.
Since October 2002, Monschke, a self-proclaimed supporter of the racist skinhead group Volksfront, has posted material on the group's Web sites under the pseudonym "Sharpshooter" and under his own name. Since his arrest, Volksfront has erased the posts on its primary Web site, although the southern California and Pennsylvania Volksfront sites still hold his entries.
Monschke also has a personal Web page that speaks of a "brand new white power movement in Washington for white pride activism and cultural awareness."
Monschke, Pillatos and Frye were all arrested shortly after the incident. Butters was tracked down later by law enforcement in Michigan.