John Severe latest biker with military background busted in Virgil Means homicide
Update: "For all those who are worried.... I'm ok. Just dealing with some shit but I will be fine." That's a Facebook message posted a short time ago by John Severe, a Colorado Springs resident who's worked for the military. And he is indeed dealing with some shit: He's one of five people arrested thus far in the early March murder of Virgil Means near the HQ of the Sin City Disciples motorcycle club.
Big photos below.
Here's how "The Gangs of Colorado Springs," a February 2011 article from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs publication The Scribe, described the Disciples.
The Sin City Disciples are a new motorcycle gang that just moved into the area from Indiana. Though they just moved in, they are already about 125 members deep. Their revenue comes from drug sales. They can be identified by their black and gold colors. They are in cahoots with the Crips, even allowing them to hang out at their club house. This is a strange alliance, since most members of the Disciples are middle-aged, while the Crips tend to be younger.
Cut to March 3, when Means and a friend tried to flee from a brawl at the clubhouse. But they were chased and shots were fired, with one that struck Means proving fatal.
Eric Bartholomew's Facebook profile pic.
A couple of weeks later, Christopher Mountjoy, identified by Colorado Springs police as a staff sergeant assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, and a member of the Disciples, was charged with murder. According to a 2009 article, Mountjoy suffered traumatic hearing loss in an IED explosion.
The Means investigation didn't end with Mountjoy's arrest. A few days later, John Burrell, part of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, was also busted in relation to the homicide. Being taken into custody wasn't a wholly new experience for him; in October, he was reportedly charged with robbery, kidnapping, menacing and a sex offense.
Then, on April 13, Eric Bartholomew, yet another Fort Carson soldier, was charged with first-degree murder in the Means case. His Facebook page notes that he's originally from San Diego and identifies one of his favorite activities (along with the U.S. Army) as "cash."
Which brings us to the latest two arrestees: Deangelo Wells, who's ID'd by police as a Colorado Springs resident, and Severe, a transplant from Cameron, Missouri, whose most prominent Facebook image features him aboard a motorcycle. Here's the shot:
Severe adds, "This can be taken in so many ways it's amazing...."
Update: The original version of this post stated that Severe had worked for the United States Army, based on a reference from his Facebook page -- and that may be true. However, Colorado Springs Police Department spokeswoman Barbara Miller says the information provided to her by the homicide department states that Severe was a member of the National Guard. (The CSPD is not aware of any military affiliation for Wells.) With that in mind, we've changed references to "Army" in the original item and headline to "military."
Wells and Severe have been charged as accessories to first-degree murder. The CSPD emphasizes that the investigation is ongoing -- meaning there may possibly be even more arrests.
Look below to see mug shots of Bartholomew, Wells and Severe, followed by our previous coverage.