LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Almost two dozen people are accused of belonging to the Aryan Warrior gang. They’re also accused of committing crimes such as murder, drug trafficking, and much more. On Wednesday, the 8 News NOW I-Team learned two of those defendants could face the death penalty.
Prosecutors say the Aryan Warrior gang is responsible for four murders in the massive criminal case. On Thursday, the I-Team obtained never before seen video evidence of the actual crime.
The exclusive video, which is also at the center of a civil lawsuit, will be used as evidence in one of the murders. The civil lawsuit was filed in federal court by the murder victim’s family.
WARNING: The video below is disturbing and graphic.
“He wasn’t a saint, but he didn’t deserve what happened to him,” said Marty, the father of the victim, Andrew Thurgood. Marty, who asked 8 News NOW not to use his last name to protect his identity, said those words about his son in an interview in July of 2018.
Now, just three and half years after his son was killed at High Desert State Prison, the two suspects are finally charged with murder.
The newly released footage from February 2016 is a central part of the case. In the video, Andrew Thurgood and two men identified as Anthony Williams and Tarik Goichechea walk into a cell — six minutes later, Williams and Goichechea walk out and then back in again. But this time, Williams drags Thurgood out of the cell; then Goicechea drags him.
Investigators said Thurgood was beaten and allegedly stabbed 52 times. Less than a minute later, as officers arrive.
Williams and Goichechea give each other props before they get down to the ground. Medical attention was not immediately provided to Thurgood, so he is left lying there on the floor, bleeding.
The video shows him slightly moving several times before more officers arrived to the area. Approximately 12 minutes after an officer first reached Thurgood, jail staff put him on his feet and walked him out.
According to the coroner’s report, he was taken to the prison infirmary, complained he couldn’t breathe, and died nearly an hour later.
Andrew Thurgood was 26 years old and serving time for driving a stolen car.
“When he first got into prison, there were several people beating up an older guy. He kind of stuck up for the guy and I think that’s how the conflict got started,” Marty said.
The gang beating up the older man in prison is the focus of an indictment that came down for 23 people in August. Prosecutors say they’re members of the white supremacist gang called the Aryan Warriors.
Photos the I-Team obtained show tattoos some of them have, including swastikas.
Charges vary for the defendants and include drug trafficking, robbery, forgery, attempted murder, and more.
Prosecutors told the I-Team they will seek the death penalty for Williams and Goichechea.
“Not guilty,” said Anthony Williams as he appeared in court with other co-defendants on Wednesday. Goichechea also entered a not guilty plea.
In federal court, Thurgood’s father Marty filed a civil lawsuit against the Nevada Department of Corrections, along with the officers seen in the video.
“The guards and this gang conspired to have him murdered; to have him in a cell where he didn’t belong,” Marty said.
Marty alleges that prison staff and Aryan Warrior leaders conspired for officers to look the other way so Thurgood could be murdered. He also said employees failed to locate weapons used to stab Thurgood 52 times.
In the lawsuit, he claims there is an unholy alliance between officers and some inmates like the Aryan Warriors to help maintain order and protect employees.
After officers found Thurgood, within the 12 minutes he bled on the ground waiting for medical attention. One officer had time to take photos which show eight officers standing around.
“I think the public should know what’s going on in the prison system,” Marty said.
The I-Team contacted the Nevada Department of Corrections to find out if employees named in the lawsuit still work there and for a comment.
A spokesman said the “NDOC is fully cooperating with all law enforcement agencies on this murder case. Because no videos have been officially disseminated to reporters and the public from the NDOC, and because any videos pertaining to this murder case may be considered evidence, NDOC will not comment as that could potentially jeopardize the case.”
But the video the I-Team obtained is public information.
There may be a settlement in the works with the NDOC and Andrew Thurgood’s family. A trial for the some of the 23 people allegedly connected to the Aryan Warriors gang who was arrested is scheduled for November.