(KLTV) - Three members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, all of the Longview area, have been sentenced for their roles in the kidnapping and murder of a fellow gang member.
Brian Thomas Green, 45, of Mount Pleasant, Kalvin Kyle McCown, 44, of Longview and Travis Lee Hill, 28, of Ore City were sentenced for their role in the death of Kenneth Earl Ayres by Judge Ronald A. White presided over the hearing, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Oklahoma.
On Oct. 26, Green was sentenced to 25 years in prison and 5 years of supervised release. McCown was sentenced on Oct. 25, to 20 years in prison and 5 years supervised release, and on Sept. 20, Hill was sentenced to 15 years in prison and 5 years supervised release.
The Federal Grand Jury in Muskogee, Oklahoma began hearing evidence in the case in September of 2014, and returned Indictments for Racketeering and Kidnapping charges against Green, McCown and Hill in January of 2016. McCown and Hill entered guilty pleas to the Kidnapping charge on January 6, 2017. Green entered a guilty plea to a charge of Use and Carry of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence on May 10, 2017.
On Sept. 23, 2011, a farmer plowing a field in rural McCurtain County, Oklahoma turned up a human skull.
Investigators were called, and they followed a trail of bones through a wooded area to "an obvious decomposition site" in an adjacent field. Bullet fragments were found inside the skull.
Using DNA analysis, the bones were identified as Kenneth Earl Ayers, a known member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas whose last known address was in Longview. A pair of uniform pants bearing Ayers' name was found alongside the bones.
A summary of fact filed in the case says that sometime prior to July 13, 2011, Ayers took something of value from a shed behind McCown's residence on Jaycee Drive in Longview. What was stolen is unknown, with some telling investigators it was methamphetamine, while others claimed it was money or a cache of stolen weapons.
Investigators believe the kidnapping and shooting were to punish Ayers, and Green testified that Ayers' death was necessary to maintain discipline within the gang.
Witnesses said McCown ordered Green to "go get your brother." A prostitute testified she was with Ayres when McCown showed up in a vehicle with dark tinted windows and told Ayres to "get in … we have to go take care of business."
The narrative says later that July evening that Green, Hill, and McCown escorted Ayers into a shed behind the McCown residence, and they were later joined by a "prospect" for ABT membership, Ryan Keith Smith. Those at the home were told to stay indoors. As the men were coming and going from the shed, one told a person in the house that Ayers had been shot in the hand and foot.
A witness reported seeing Green and Hill escorting bloody Ayers, clad only in boxer shorts, into a pickup. Smith got into a different vehicle to follow the pickup, but his driver chose to not follow. The narrative states that Smith committed suicide at home later that night, distraught over not following the truck and the possibility "they were going to come for them" for not doing as he was told.
The narrative states that Smith's suicide is "the time mark by which most of the witnesses remember the date that the Ayres discipline took place."
Prosecutors say the truck made two stops on its way to Oklahoma. One was at the residence of Hill's girlfriend, whom he told that they were "taking Ayers to a hospital in Oklahoma." A second stop was made at a residence where Green asked for pain medication and a gun. He was given a .22 caliber, according to the report.
In October of 2011, a search warrant was executed at the residence on Jaycee Drive. Ayers DNA was found in a blood smear in a shed behind the house. Blood was found inside a pickup.
The narrative says that in the weeks after the "discipline," witnesses heard Green telling a story about how after Ayers was shot twice in the head. He asked Green if he was dead yet. Green said he replied by shooting Ayers a third time, the witnesses said.
Green, Hill and McCown were indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2016.
Plea agreements signed by McCown and Hill are sealed. They have not been formally sentenced.
Green's plea agreement was not sealed as of May 19. In it, a 25-year prison stint is recommended.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma agreed to "not bring any other criminal charges against the defendant which are known" to that office "at the time of this agreement."
Green's signature is at the bottom of the document in which he admits that it was his gun that was used to shoot Ayers.
According to the sentencing hearing document, the special conditions listed for Green upon his supervised release include a submission to search his residence, vehicle, office/ and or business at a reasonable time and reasonable manner. Green will also have to participate in a program for the treatment of narcotic addiction, drug dependency, or alcohol dependency, and a mental health treatment program.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Oklahoma, the defendants will remain in custody pending transportation to the designated federal facility at which the non-parolable sentence will be served.
Each was ordered to pay a $100.00 assessment to the Court.