Tacoma

Alleged white supremacists charged in stabbing death

TACOMA, Wash. -- Pierce County prosecutors say four men and a woman with ties to a white supremacist prison gang murdered a fellow member for violating the gang's code of conduct.

On Friday, Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Jeffrey Cooke, 32, Melissa Bourgault, 33, Mark Stredicke, 37, Eric Elliser, 33, and Shane McKrittrick, 32, with murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the November stabbing death of 27-year-old Derek Wagner.

"This is a case of white supremacists killing one of their own," Lindquist said in a news release. "The victim was murdered for violating the gang's own code."

Prosecutors say on November 16, Cooke picked up Wagner from a house in Yelm and drove him to Cooke's house in Tacoma.

After meeting up with the rest of the defendants, the group drove to Elliser's house, where Lindquist says the five suspects -- all allegedly members of the Aryan Skins Kindred gang -- confronted Wagner about violating gang rules.

Lindquist said the group accused Wagner of having an affair with Stredicke's wife and associating with a rival gang. The confrontation ended with Wagner being stabbed three times, including a fatal stab wound to the heart.

Despite being severely wounded, Wagner was able to run away from the house, though he didn't make it far. The following afternoon, a man discovered Wagner's body in his yard and called police.

While investigating the scene, police found a Ka Bar knife near Wagner's body. Police say Cooke is know to carry a similar knife.