A elderly white supremacist who allegedly killed a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum died in a prison hospital while awaiting trial, Fox broadcaster reported Wednesday.
Fox news quoted an official who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirming the death of James Wenneker Von Brunn, 88, at a federal prison in the southern state of North Carolina.
Von Brunn had been indicted on seven counts, including first degree murder, for the June 2009 shooting. He had been wounded by return fire but survived.
Von Brunn allegedly stormed the front entrance of the museum - located just blocks from the National Mall and the White House - armed with a rifle on June 10. He fatally shot security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns before other guards returned fire, wounding Von Brunn in the face, prosecutors charged.
In addition to the murder charge, he faced charges of illegal use of a firearm and committing a bias-related crime, or hate crime, "based on the actual or perceived race and religion of another."
Had he been convicted, Von Brunn faced at least life in prison. Four of the counts were eligible for the death penalty if the Justice Department had chosen to seek it.
Von Brunn wrote numerous anti-Semitic articles posted online, including a book called Kill the Best Gentiles, which he calls "a new hard-hitting expose of the Jewish conspiracy to destroy the white gene pool."
Von Brunn, on a Web site, claimed to have served with the US military in World War II, worked for a New York advertising agency and belonged to Mensa, the high-IQ society.
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