A former Air Force sergeant and a member of the extremist “Boogaloo” movement has pleaded guilty to killing a federal security officer in California amid protests triggered by the officer-involved death of George Floyd.
Steven Carrillo initially pleaded not guilty in the death of David Patrick Underwood, who was guarding the federal courthouse in Oakland on May 29, 2020, just days after 46-year-old Floyd’s deadly confrontation with Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Video of the deadly confrontation shows the ex-cop kneeling down on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, sparking outrage nationwide.
Carrillo during an appearance in San Francisco federal court on Friday changed his plea to guilty and admitted his actions directly caused Underwood’s death. In exchange, prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty. Instead, they offered a plea agreement that would see the 33-year old sentenced to 41 years in prison and a lifetime term of supervised release, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers still has to decide whether to accept the plea agreement.
Carrillo allegedly connected with his accomplice, Robert Alvin Justus Jr., through a Facebook group centered for “Boogaloo Bois,” or members of the far-right anti-government extremist movement. He wrote of his plans to use the protests triggered by Floyd’s death as cover to carry out violence.
Prosecutors said the men traveled to Oakland in a white Ford van, from which Carrillo opened fire as they approached the courthouse. Justus is also facing charges in connection with Underwood’s death, including aiding and abetting for allegedly driving the vehicle, and attempted murder.
He is slated to be sentenced on June 3.