White supremacist gets death

Orange County Register/August 22, 2008

Michael Lamb murdered a former friend who broke the gang's code by appearing on a television show and revealing secrets.

Santa Ana - A white supremacist gang member who has a swastika tattooed on his face sat somberly in court today as he was sentenced to death for killing a former colleague who broke the gang's code by appearing on a television program.

Michael Allen Lamb, 34, was convicted by an Orange County Superior Court jury earlier this year of the March 8, 2002 ambush murder of Scott Miller, a founding member of Public Enemy Number One (PEN1), a gang with roots in Huntington Beach.

Lamb was eligible for the death sentence because his jury determined that he was guilty of the special circumstance of murdering Miller in an Anaheim alley for the benefit of PEN1 to retaliate for Miller's revealing gang secrets on a local television news program.

"Life is not a joke, murder is not a game," said Superior Court Judge William R. Froeberg when he affirmed a jury's recommendation of death. "It is clear to this court, and should be clear to everyone, that Mr. Lamb has neither consideration of nor respect for the basic rules of civilized society."

Lamb waved to his mother and friends in the courtroom gallery but made no comment. His mother also declined to comment.

"He's going to where he deserves to be," said Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh.

It was the fourth death sentence handed down by an Orange County judge this year.

Jacob Anthony Rump, 32, Lamb's co-defendant, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole last year for participating in the execution-style murder.

Billy Joe Johnson, 45, a third Public Enemy Number One member, also faces a potential death sentence when he goes on trial later this year for his alleged role in luring Miller to his death.

Johnson was not charged in the case until last year, after he testified on Lamb's behalf and tried to take sole responsibility for killing Miller. He told Lamb's jury that he acted alone when he put a gun to Miller's head "and blasted him" in the Anaheim alley behind an apartment complex on Gramercy Street.

But Baytieh argued that Johnson lured Miller to the Anaheim alley where Lamb and Rump were waiting in the dark. Miller was about to sip from a can of Pepsi when Lamb sneaked up from behind and fired a fatal shot into the back of Miller's head.

"The motive for the shooting was not only as a payback for the news show, but also for Mr. Lamb to enhance his status in the PEN1 gang," Froeberg said.

Johnson is already serving 45 years to life in prison after he pleaded guilty last year to killing Corey Lamons in April 2004 in Huntington Beach, and had nothing to lose by trying to exonerate Lamb and Rump, Baytieh suggested.

The prosecutor said the primary motive for ambushing Miller was that he appeared on a Fox TV news show with his pit bull dog and talked candidly about life inside Public Enemy Number One.

Miller was supposed to be anonymous on the video with his face blurred out, but his distinctive gang tattoos and his dog were clearly visible.

The gang came under law enforcement scrutiny last year after investigators said PENI leaders authorized a hit list aimed at officials, including an Orange County deputy district attorney who was prosecuting other gang members.

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