This undated file photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows Travis Ricci.
A notorious neo-Nazi face the death penalty after his conviction Wednesday in the racially 2009 murder of a white woman who was dating a black man.
Travis Ricci, 37, could be sentenced to life in prison for the fatal shooting of Kelly Ann Jaeger. Jaeger’s friend, Jeffrey Wellmaker, was wounded in the attack.
Prosecutors said a shirtless, angry, and drunk Ricci confronted the couple in a park near Phoenix, Arizona, shouting racist comments and questions Wellmaker, “what are you doing with a white girl?”
At one point, Ricci said Wellmaker, he would have “something for him,” prosecutors said, about how Ricci picked up a shotgun and then fired at the couple as they stood in a phone booth.
The driver of the car Ricci fired from, Aaron Levi Schmidt, pled guilty to Jaeger murder.
NEO-NAZI COUPLE WHO NAMED THE BABY AFTER HITLER SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR BELONGING TO A TERRORIST GROUP
Authorities believe Ricci intended to shoot Wellmaker and beat Jaeger by accident.
Ricci is suspected to be a member of the Vinlanders Social Club, a neo-Nazi group with a violent reputation. His lawyers, however, deny that Ricci is a member. They also note Wellmaker was not able to identify Ricci in a line-up.
Working with a police artist, however, Wellmaker did describe a unique tattoo he spotted on the shooter’s stomach. That design is tailored to a Ricci, according to a judge in the case. Ricci has a large tattoo on his abdomen. He also has several other tattoos relating to white supremacy.
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In a strange twist, it turned out Wellmaker played chess with Ricci while the men were both locked up in unrelated cases, two years after the attack. Wellmaker apparently did not recognize the shooter.
Ricci is already serving 22 years for assault and weapons misconduct in a case that is not related to and was committed after Jaeger’s death.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.