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Murder, hate crime charges filed in killing of Black Navy veteran

Justin Peoples

Two suspects were charged with murder and hate crimes in the killing of a Black Navy veteran and youth pastor at a California gas station last week, authorities said Friday, reports NBC News.

Prosecutors in San Joaquin County, south of Sacramento, accuse Jeremy Wayne Jones, 49, and Christina Lyn Garner, 42, of first-degree murder in the March 15 killing of Justin Peoples, 30, according to a criminal complaint.

The charges carry a “special circumstance,” alleging Jones and Garner targeted Peoples because of race, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion, making them eligible for a prison term of life without the possibility of parole.

The district attorney’s office provided photos of tattoos of a Swastika and the words “White power.” It wasn’t clear which suspect they belonged to. The district attorney’s office did not provide additional details about the alleged hate crime.

A third person was charged with being an accessory in the alleged crime.

In a news release, authorities said the killing occurred at a Chevron gas station in the city of Tracy. When officers found Peoples, he had been shot once and stabbed, the release says.