A Washington man with ties to local White supremacist gangs is expected to become the fourth person charged in the beating death of a Phoenix man last year.
Police believe Justin D. Larue, 26, was among a group of White supremacists who kicked and pummeled Cole Bailey Jr. on Oct. 16 outside a Phoenix pool hall. Bailey, 20, was waiting for a cab when a fight spilled out of the pub. He died at the scene.
Larue was arrested last week by police in Lynnwood, Wash., a city 20 minutes north of Seattle, on a misdemeanor drunken-driving warrant. He had been living with his mother there, court documents state.
Police had been searching for Larue for some time, said Cole Bailey Sr., the victim's father. Bailey said police told him that Larue was evading arrest by living on a fishing boat off the coast of Washington.
A murder warrant for Larue's arrest has not been issued, but Maricopa County Attorney's Office spokesman Bill FitzGerald said he expects one as early as this week. In the meantime, he said, Larue will not be released because he is serving a 40-day sentence in the Lynnwood jail for probation violations in connection with a 1998 drunken-driving incident and two other misdemeanors from 2000.
Phoenix police went to Washington and questioned Larue on Saturday, according to court records filed in the Snohomish County Superior Court in Washington. He denied involvement in the attack, the records state, but admitted becoming involved with skinhead groups after moving to Phoenix in June 2002.
Police believe Larue has connections to the White supremacist groups National Alliance and Unit 88 Skins.
Two other suspects, Christopher Weston Whitley, 25, and Samuel Compton, 26, are in the Madison Street Jail awaiting trial in Bailey's death. Charges against a fourth suspect, Brandon Miller, 25, were dropped in May, seven months after his arrest, due to lack of proof. Prosecutors said some witnesses changed their statements.
Bailey Sr. said he believes authorities have the same evidence against Larue that they have against Whitley and Compton.
"It doesn't make sense," Bailey Sr. said. "He's been free all these months, but he did just as much damage as the others, witnesses said, maybe even more. They said he was a recruit, so he had more to prove."
The night of Bailey Jr.'s death, witnesses described three large men screaming "White power, White pride," as they stomped through the parking lot. After coming upon Bailey, they kicked and punched him to death.
The case garnered national attention after Bailey Sr. made finding his son's killers a personal crusade. The father hired private investigators and worked his way into the White-supremacist underworld that he believed harbored his son's killers. He led police to one suspect at a restaurant after attempting to talk him into surrendering.
The publicity surrounding that arrest led police to Compton, who was arrested Feb. 12 by Bakersfield, Calif., police. It was the same day that Bailey Sr. appeared on the John Walsh Show to talk about his crusade.
"It's been frustrating," Bailey Sr. said.
Neither police nor the County Attorney's Office would elaborate on why a warrant for Larue's arrest had not been issued.
"Let's just say there will be a warrant, so obviously something is there," said Phoenix police Detective Paul Dalton, the lead investigator on the case.