A man accused of beheading his father and posting a disturbing video online showing the severed head broke inside a military facility to “try and mobilise the National Guard” before he was arrested, federal authorities have revealed.
Justin Mohn, 32, is facing charges of first-degree murder and abusing a corpse after he allegedly shot and beheaded his 68-year-old father Michael Mohn, a federal employee, and publicized it in a 14-minute YouTube video exposing his deranged views and hostility towards the American government. The victim’s corpse and head, which was wrapped in plastic, were found by his wife in the bathroom of their home in Bucks County‘s Middletown Township on Tuesday night.
Mr Mohn was arrested at Fort Indiantown Gap, a military base about 100 miles away from the crime scene, shortly after his mother made the gruesome discovery and ran to a neighbour’s house to phone police, officials with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the FBI revealed on Friday.
According to DA Jennifer Schorn, Mr Mohn drove to the facility in an attempt to mobilise the National Guard to raise arms and overthrow the federal government. He also wanted to speak with Governor John Shapiro to convince him “to join forces,” Ms Schorn said.
Mr Mohn allegedly drove his father’s car past a barricade, jumped a fence to gain access inside the base and was carrying a loaded 9mm weapon before he was captured.
The gun was legally purchased the day before Mr Mohn allegedly killed his father, Ms Schorn said, and he had voluntarily surrendered his medical marijuana card mere days before in order to become eligible. Ms Schorn said that the level of Mr Mohn’s planning showed that he was “in a clear state of mind” and “proud of his actions” after allegedly carrying out the attack.
Ms Schorn also noted that the suspect had no known history of mental illness or involuntary hospitalizations. However, officials declined to answer questions about calls made by neighbours regarding their concern for Mr Mohn’s behaviour.
It also emerged during the presser that Mr Mohn’s former employer had tried to flag his erratic behaviour to local police last year. Middletown Township Police Chief Joe Bartorilla said his department could not proceed with an investigation because the employer was “seeking legal advice” on how to terminate Mr Mohn.
Officials also discussed the extreme ideas that Mr Mohn encouraged in the video, which remained online for six hours and was seen more than 5,000 times before it was taken down. The video, captioned “Mohn’s militia, a call of arms for American Patriots,” reportedly showed Mr Mohn ranting about the government, the Black Lives Matter movement, and LGBTQ+ people, and giving out instructions to “kill federal employees.”
Mr Mohn reportedly claimed to be the commander of “America’s network of militia” and gave out orders to “all members of militia” that IRS, FBI, courthouse, Border Patrol and US Marshals staff should be “tortured for information” and publicly executed. He went on to leak personal information about a local judge, whose name was not released by authorities during the press conference and put a bounty on the judge’s head.
“He demands violence against all federal employees but exempts state governors and state employees,” Ms Schorn said. “... From an evidentiary value, this video is very important, but it’s quite horrifying how many views it got before we understand it was taken down.”
He also said his father, a veteran engineer with the US Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District, was “going to hell” for being a traitor to America. Police said it appeared Mohn was reading from a script as he railed about the government.
Ms Schorn said that she was aware of previous discord online about Mr Mohn’s ideals, but declined to elaborate citing the pending investigation. She said it has not been determined whether Mr Mohn will also be charged at the federal level.
Michael Mohn’s wife, Denice Mohn, arrived home and found the body about 7 pm Tuesday. Responding officers found Mohn’s body in the first-floor bathroom and his head with a gunshot wound inside a plastic bag in a kitchen pot placed in a first-floor bedroom, according to a police affidavit.
Officers said they found bloody rubber gloves in a bedroom on the second floor. Denice Mohn said her husband’s white Toyota Corolla and her son were both missing.
Mr Mohn’s phone was pinged near the military facility and authorities located his vehicle. He was taken into custody without incident.
Mr Mohn was arraigned early Wednesday and held without bail. He is scheduled for a hearing on 8 February.