Phoenix Neo-Nazi may face death penalty for his 2009 hate-motivated murder.

5 month ago

A jury has found a man accused of having neo-Nazi ties guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of a Phoenix woman in 2009 hate crime.

Travis Ricci, 37, shot and killed Kelly Ann Jaeger, 39, in October 2009 while she was walking with her boyfriend in a Phoenix park.

Ricci had approached the interracial couple and began to yell racial slurs at Jaeger's boyfriend, Jeffery Wellmaker, who is black, court records show.

He then left the couple, returned later with a friend, and fired shots from a car. Documents show the shots were intended for Wellmaker but hit Jaeger instead.

In an unrelated crime months after Jaeger's shooting death, police say Ricci stabbed two men who tried to stop him from attacking his girlfriend. He is serving a 22-year sentence for assault and weapons misconduct convictions.

The guilty verdicts Wednesday mean that jurors will decide whether Ricci should face life in prison or the death penalty in the killing of Jaeger.