U.S. attorney to seek death penalty for shooting of Causey rancher

Staff and wire reports

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says it will seek the death penalty for a member of the Aryan Brotherhood who is charged with fatally shooting a 71-year-old rancher in Roosevelt County.

Donald Taylor is charged with murder for allegedly firing a shot into the home of Jimmy “Bo” Chunn of Causey on July 4, 2005, according to the Albuquerque Journal in a copyright story Sunday.

He was one of 19 Aryan Brotherhood members and associates charged last year in three separate indictments involving a wide range of crimes. He’s the only one facing the federal death penalty.

Taylor, according to federal court documents, agreed to kill Chun in exchange for anhydrous ammonia, an ingredient used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

During the investigation following the shooting, William “Billy” Joe Watson of Roosevelt County, records show, led federal agents to 850 gallons of anhydrous ammonia he had purchased to give to Taylor.

Watson, 44, was indicted in district court in June on charges of accessory to first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and accessory to attempted manufacturing of methamphetamine.

U.S. Attorney Greg Fouratt said Taylor is a perfect candidate for the federal death penalty because he has the “rare combination of past acts and future danger for which the death penalty is the proper measure of justice.”

Taylor also faces charges of conspiracy to commit methamphetamine manufacturing and being a felon in possession of firearms charges.

Taylor’s attorney Brian Pori said he’s outraged that the federal government singled out his client.

Taylor, a low-ranking member of the Aryan Brotherhood, started sniffing gasoline at age 9 and doesn’t make good decisions, Pori said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.