Alabama man arrested for alleged ritual animal sacrifice, police say

Published 10:10 pm Saturday, May 8, 2021

An Alabama man is free on bond after his arrest for his alleged involvement in the killing of a farm animal during what authorities said was a “ritual sacrifice” during training in Georgia for a white supremacist group, authorities said.

Brandon Gregory Ashley, 27, of Hayden, Alabama, was extradited Thursday to Rome, Georgia, from the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham, Alabama, and subsequently released on a $10,000 bond from the Floyd County Jail, The Rome News-Tribune reported.

Ashley, Patrik Mathews, William Garfield Bilbrough IV, Brian Mark Lemley Jr., and Duncan Christopher Trimmell were charged last month with aggravated animal cruelty and all but Trimmell were also charged with livestock theft by a Floyd County grand jury, according to an indictment first reported by the Rome News-Tribune. It was not immediately clear whether any of them had a lawyer who could comment on the charges.

Floyd County prosecutors identified the animal, which they say was killed during a meeting of the group in October 2019, as a ram. Federal prosecutors have said it was a goat. They have said the men stole the animal and ended up shooting it to death.

Georgia prosecutors said the animal’s killing occurred at a north Georgia training camp organized by The Base, a white supremacist group that espoused using violence to accelerate overthrowing the U.S. government. The group has largely dissolved after a series of arrests in 2019.