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Federal witness says Arkansas-based white supremacy gang targeted informant in murder-for-hire plot

by Dale Ellis | September 11, 2021 at 3:48 a.m.

On the fourth day of trial for Marcus Millsap, the Pope County man accused of racketeering and drug conspiracy in connection with a white supremacist gang, another of the group's core members described in federal court a murder-for-hire scheme to kill a confidential informant.

Millsap, 53, of Danville, is accused by federal prosecutors of being part of a major drug trafficking conspiracy run by the New Aryan Empire, a white-supremacist group based in Pope County, and he is also accused of soliciting the murder of a confidential informant -- 49-year-old Bruce Wayne Hurley -- who was found shot in front of his Atkins home in 2016 before dying shortly after at a Russellville hospital.

Under questioning Friday by Assistant U.S. Attorney Liza Jane Brown, Jeffrey "100%" Knox, 46, testified to an attempt that Wesley Gullett, the president of the New Aryan Empire, made on Hurley's life. For the first time in his testimony, Knox made mention of Millsap, saying Gullett said he had sold Millsap large quantities of methamphetamine.

"He had a nickname for him," Knox said. "He called him Red. I don't know why. He mentioned they went to Colorado one time on a ski trip or something like that."

At the mention of his name, Millsap tensed, looked up from the defense table and stared intently at Knox. After a few moments, he began writing something on a legal pad on the table in front of him.

Knox testified that Gullett said Millsap had offered him $30,000 to kill Hurley after Hurley had set up a controlled drug buy that resulted in Millsap's arrest.

"He wanted him killed so he didn't have to go to trial," Knox said. "He said [Hurley] wanted to sell some property and could I get ahold of him."

Knox said Gullett offered him $1,000 to call Hurley and set up a meeting.

"I asked [Gullett] if I could borrow some money," Knox said later in his testimony. "He said he'd give me $1,000 to introduce him [to Hurley]. I told him I didn't want any part of the killing."

That meeting, according to the indictment, took place on Jan. 4, 2016.

When the two men arrived at Hurley's trailer in Atkins, Knox said they smoked methamphetamine before going out to the edge of the property near a wooded area.

"I heard something and turned around and [Gullett] had a gun in his hand," Knox testified. "I started freaking out ... then I turned to [Hurley] and he had a gun in his hand."

He said Hurley shot once at Gullett, who ran to his truck to leave, and Hurley shot again, this time knocking the mirror off the side of the truck. As Gullett started the truck, Knox said he jumped into the bed, and the two men fled.

On cross examination, Tre Kitchens, Millsap's defense attorney, began working to discredit Knox's testimony, asking him about the blood oath he had signed with the New Aryan Empire some 20 years before.

"Your commitment to your brothers is a lifelong commitment that will never change, isn't it?" Kitchens asked.

"Yes sir," Knox replied.

Kitchens produced a plea agreement addendum that outlined Knox's deal with prosecutors to receive up to half off of his sentence in return for his cooperation.

"This is what you swore not to do, isn't it?" he asked.

"Yes sir," Knox replied.

"This says you could get 50% off the low end of your sentence, right?" Kitchens asked.

"Yes sir," Knox replied.

"Pretty good motivation to lie, right?" Kitchens asked.

"I'm not lying," Knox said.

"That's not what I asked," Kitchens said. "I asked if it's a good motivation to lie, right?"

"Yes sir," Knox said.

"So now," Kitchens said, "the jury needs to figure out when you, a liar, are telling the truth and when you are lying."

About the night of the attempt on Hurley's life, Kitchens asked why the two men had gone to Hurley's home, ostensibly, to look at property at 11 p.m.

"Does that make any sense to you?" Kitchens asked.

"None," said Knox, emphatically, prompting an outbreak of laughter throughout the jury box and the courtroom.

"As you're walking," Kitchens continued, "you've got [Hurley] in front, [Gullett] behind and you're in the middle and all of a sudden it's the OK Corral. [Gullett's] got a gun, [Hurley] has a gun and you're just standing there with a sunny personality, right?"

"Pretty much," Knox replied.

Four months after that unsuccessful attempt on Hurley's life, Hurley was found fatally wounded at his home in Atkins. To date, no one has been arrested for his murder, which is still under investigation.

On Thursday, Knox had testified to the inner workings of the gang and the meaning of Nazi imagery, such as the Nazi lightning bolt, swastika, the Reichsadler and the Heil Hitler salute, as important to the gang's self-image as protectors of the white race. Weekly Sunday club meetings, he had said, were referred to as "church," where gang members would sometimes discuss retaliation measures against members and non-members alike.

Also testifying Friday was co-conspirator Brittany Ferguson, who is currently on pre-trial release after pleading guilty to the drug conspiracy count in the indictment.

Ferguson, who said she was once involved romantically with Gullett, said she was introduced to Millsap and was aware that Gullett was supplying him with quantities of methamphetamine.

Testimony continues Monday beginning at 9 a.m.

Print Headline: Witness at trial tells of plot to kill informant

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