TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — After six years, Devon Arthurs, the former neo-Nazi who is accused of killing his two roommates, has pleaded guilty to the crimes.
The jury selection for Arthurs’ trial was supposed to begin Monday, but the defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and three counts of kidnapping in the deaths of Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuck.
Police found Himmelman and Oneschuck both shot to death in their apartment at the Hamptons of Tampa Palms in 2017.
Arthurs was 18 at the time.
After his arrest, Arthurs told detectives he murdered his roommates because they disrespected his Muslim faith.
But the discovery of the bodies led investigators to find other troubling evidence: several weapons, boxes of ammo, explosive material to make bombs, and even radioactive material.
Arthurs told detectives he saved thousands of lives by killing his roommates because he said they were planning terrorist attacks in the US.
“Nothing had been constructed yet, but this is clearly stuff lined up for the explosives there,” Arthurs explained to a detective.
“So that was the purpose of these items?”, the detective asked.
“Yes absolutely,” Arthurs responded. “That was the entire purpose of them.”
“You guys don’t build model rockets and set them off in the back and shoot them in the back or fireworks for 4th of July?” the detective asked. “Nothing like that?”
“No, none of that,” Arthurs responded. “It’s all there specifically to kill people.”
He told Tampa police he was once a senior member of a neo-Nazi group that takes pride in violence and hate against minorities.
It’s a group the FBI has since cracked down on.
“These neo-Nazis called their group ‘Atomwoffen,’ which is the German phrase for ‘atomic weapon,’ said Brian Moran who served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington at the time. “They vowed to accelerate the collapse of civilization using violence, mass murder, hate, and threat.”
Arthurs was admitted to a facility in the state for competency restoration training after a doctor diagnosed him with autism, schizophrenia, and attention deficit disorder, but it was ruled last year that he is competent to proceed to trial.
After the plea, the court sentenced Arthurs to 45 years in prison with a minimum of 25 years for each murder count, which will run concurrently.
He will then have 15 years of probation after serving his prison term. As part of his probation, Arthurs will have to undergo a psychological evaluation and any necessary treatment for his mental health.
After receiving his sentence, Arthurs warned against joining extremist movements and said he would try to better his life.