FORT WORTH A Haltom City man who claims membership in the Aryan Brotherood of Texas was sentenced to 60 years in prison for the brutal 2012 murder of a man the killer believed was faking membership in the gang.
State Distrtict Judge Scott Wisch on Friday sentenced Staten “Monster” Corbett, Jr., 48, to 60 years for murder and 20 years for tampering with evidence — the corpse of Earnest Lackey, 34, of Burleson. The sentences will be served concurrently.
A Tarrant County jury took 37 minutes in May to find Corbett Jr., guilty. Corbett elected to have Wisch sentence him, which he did after a pre-sentence investigation.
Lackey’s body was found on Aug. 2, 2012, between a boat and a tree south of the 5400 block of Crest Drive in far northwest Tarrant County near northeastern Eagle Mountain Lake. He was identified through dental records. An autopsy found he had been slashed with a sharp, bladed object. He broken ribs and a broken bone in his spine, and had been sodomized with a hot soldering iron.
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“What they did to the deceased was beyond belief,” said Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Lisa Callaghan in closing statements on Friday.
Callaghan compared the violence to something from “Dante’s 7th Circle of Hell.”
Lackey was killed in July 2012 during a gathering of gang members and women at a mobile home near Azle, authorities said.
Two other men, Ronnie Freeman Jr. 35, of Fort Worth and Jimmy “Jimbo” Lee Riddle, 45, of Euless, also are charged in Lackey’s death. They had previously served time in Texas prisons with him.
The three co-defendants, Lackey and others had gathered at Freeman’s mobile home in the 6100 block of Big Wood Court on the southwestern end of Eagle Mountain Lake near Azle. Methamphetamine was available, and some were using it, investigators said.
There was talk that a woman there was going to be “disciplined” for being a snitch against an Aryan Brotherhood member, according to officials with the Tarrant County district attorney’s office. Freeman testified that he did not want the woman to be killed at his home. And Lackey, who was acting “jumpy” and “scared,” also said he didn’t think the woman should be killed, witnesses testified in the May trial.
Then Corbett, Freeman and Riddle accused Lackey of being a snitch. Lackey was asked to recite a code of beliefs known only to Aryan Brotherhood members, but he stumbled and stuttered and could not remember them all.
Freeman ordered two women to go to a back bedroom and within seconds, Lackey was attacked. One woman testified that she heard sounds of a beating and Lackey yelling in pain. Corbett screamed, “Take it like a man!” she said.
The women testified in May that through a crack in a doorway they saw the three men attack Lackey, tying him up and beating him as they called him derogatory names. One testified that Freeman heated a soldering iron with a torch and used it to sodomize Lackey, while Corbett screamed, “You know you like it!”
Corbett and Riddle continued the beating for hours, while Freeman joined the two women in a bedroom, witnesses said. When they saw Lackey again, he was wrapped in a red blanket, “like a burrito,” according to trial testimoney, and tied with a yellow cord.
Lackey’s body was then removed and placed in a field.
Investigators received a tip about who killed Lackey. The three men were in jail on unrelated charges when they were arrested in Lackey’s slaying.
Freeman had been arrested July 17 on suspicion of assault with bodily injury; Corbett on Aug. 6 on a parole violation; and Riddle on Aug. 8 on suspicion of making a terroristic threat and contempt of court for nonpayment of child support.
The Aryan Brotherhood is a white supremacist gang with several offshoots that showed up in Texas prisons in the 1980s. A gang expert from the Fort Worth Police Department testified that falsely claiming to be a member of the gang can lead to a beating or death, the statement said.
This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.