Two brothers linked to a white supremacist group and suspected in arsons at three Sacramento-area synagogues were charged today with killing a gay couple.
Benjamin Matthew Williams, 31, and James Tyler Williams, 29, who have been held since July 7 on charges related to the killings, could face the death penalty if convicted.
The Williams brothers are charged with murder with special circumstances, robbery, burglarizing the couple's residence and stealing their vehicle. Prosecutors consider the slayings of Winfield Scott Mowder and Gary Matson hate crimes.
"Murder is the ultimate expression of hate," Sheriff Jim Pope said. "I'm looking forward to them being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
The Williamses are also suspects in June fires at three synagogues that caused more than $1 million in damage.
Mowder and Matson were found fatally shot July 1 in bed in their home in Happy Valley, a rural community near Redding.
The Williams brothers were arrested as they picked up equipment to assemble ammunition, police said. The equipment was charged to Matson's credit card, which the brothers had along with his wallet, driver's license and Social Security card.
One of the brothers was wearing a bulletproof vest, and they were armed with two assault rifles, a shotgun, and 9mm pistols, police said.
Authorities found hate literature at one of the brothers' homes, including anti-Semitic writings and a notebook containing the names of people associated with the Sacramento synagogues. Among the materials were handouts from the World Church of the Creator, an Illinois-based white supremacist group.
The brothers, who were to be arraigned Tuesday, were held without bail.