Two experienced homicide prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia are on tap to lead the government’s case against James Von Brunn, the 89-year-old Annapolis, Md., man who was indicted today on murder and hate crime charges for his alleged role in shooting a police officer last month at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicole Waid and Vinet Bryant are assigned the prosecution, and the Justice Department has also dedicated a Civil Rights Division trial attorney, Edward Chung, to the case. Bryant works in the homicide section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Waid, who now works in the national security section, is a former chief of the general crimes section.
Prosecutors say von Brunn, a self-proclaimed white supremacist, fatally shot Special Police Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns at the Holocaust Memorial Museum on June 10. Von Brunn was injured when another officer returned fire. Federal Public Defender A.J. Kramer has been appointed to represent von Brunn. Kramer said it’s too early to know whether he will keep the case himself or assign another lawyer in the office to handle it.
Von Brunn, who has still not made his first court appearance due to the injuries he received during the shooting, was charged in a seven-count indictment with "willfully, deliberately, maliciously, and with premeditation" shooting Johns. At least three of the charges, including first-degree murder while armed, make von Brunn eligible for the death penalty if he is convicted. A copy of the six-page indictment is here.