- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A former white supremacist from Palmdale has been convicted of killing a black man 17 years ago in a racially-motivated attack.

Los Angeles County prosecutors say 39-year-old Richard Ritchie was convicted Thursday of conspiracy and first-degree murder with special circumstances.

Ritchie, who’s already behind bars for a string of home-invasion robberies, is facing life in prison without chance of parole.

Co-defendant Kelly Sorrell, who earlier pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, testified against Ritchie and faces 29 years to life when he’s sentenced Friday.

Authorities say in 1997, 32-year-old Howard McClendon was lured into a car, beaten with a baseball bat and chased into the desert where he was stabbed and nearly decapitated.



Prosecutors say the killing was done so that Ritchie could receive “lightning bolt” tattoos for killing blacks.

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