A North Carolina teen already facing federal charges for planning an ISIS-inspired mass shooting has been indicted for murdering his Burke County neighbor in December 2014, authorities said.
Justin Nojan Sullivan, 19, has been jailed since June 19 for his plot to kill “as many as 1,000 people” after purchasing a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle at a Hickory gun show over the summer. But before he put the Islamic State massacre into motion, authorities say the Morganton teen stole a rifle from his father, then shot dead his 74-year-old neighbor, John Bailey Clark Jr., on Dec. 18 and buried the body in his yard.
Sullivan, who lived with his parents a few houses down from his victim, then hid the .22-caliber Marlin rifle in a crawl space underneath his home, along with muddy clothes, a black ski mask and a lock-pick kit, according to a federal indictment.
A Burke County grand jury handed down the indictment Monday, David Learner, the state’s district attorney for the 25th District, told the Daily News. His office long suspected the teen, but had the luxury of being “very deliberate” in the investigation because Sullivan has been in custody since his federal arrest, he said.
A first-degree murder conviction carries the punishments of life in prison without parole or the death penalty, but Learner said it’s too early to say what he’ll pursue. It’s also unclear when Sullivan will face trial in state court. His trial on the federal terror-related charges is scheduled to begin Feb. 22.
Read more: NY Daily News