Murder victims

 

Members of the Yahweh sect are responsible for 14 murders in Dade, according to the federal indictment unsealed Wednesday. The following information about the victims is based on the indictment and other court records

Members of the Yahweh sect are responsible for 14 murders in Dade, according to the federal indictment unsealed Wednesday. The following information about the victims is based on the indictment and other court records.

* Aston Green, 26, a mechanic.

On Nov. 12, 1981, Green, a member of a Yahweh defector group, was beaten by several Yahweh members, and then, while still alive, taken to West Dade, where he was decapitated. A jogger found the body. A medical examiner said the killer apparently used a machete while Green was still alive.

According to court testimony, approximately 10 sect members took Green into a back room of the Yahwehs' Temple of Love, beat him, bound and gagged him, wrapped him in a carpet or a blanket, and drove off with him in a red Ford Galaxy owned by Enoch Israel, a "goon squad" security man for the Yahwehs.

* Carlton Carey, 34, an accountant.

On Nov. 14, 1981, Carey, also a member of the defector group, and Mildred Banks, 30, a postal clerk, made statements to homicide detectives about the beheading of Green, their roommate.

The couple told police they feared for their lives and were thinking about buying a gun for protection.

Early the next morning, as they arrived home in Carol City from the police station, two hooded gunmen ambushed the pair. Banks, shot and suffering from a massive neck wound, survived. Carey died of bullet wounds. Police say the killers apparently intended to decapitate the couple.

* Leonard Dupree, 22, former U.S. karate champion.

On Sept. 17, 1983, Dupree, branded a dissident, was attacked in the temple and beaten to death by a crowd of Yahweh members after an altercation with a female Yahweh member. His body was never found.

* Glendell G. Fowler, 52, a hospital technician, and Kurt Doerr, 44, a waiter.

On April 19, 1986, a neighbor discovered their bodies, stabbed to death in bed, in a Coconut Grove apartment.

* Clair Walters, 36, an unemployed carpenter.

On May 22, 1986, someone slashed Walters' throat and amputated his left ear. The ear was missing from the crime scene. A Miami SWAT team, training in an abandoned motel on Biscayne Boulevard, found the body.

* James Lee Myers, 30, an unemployed janitor.

On July 21, 1986, someone stabbed Myers to death, cutting, but not severing, his right ear. A male prostitute found the body at 5995 Biscayne Blvd.

* Lyle Austin Bellinger, 22, unemployed and homeless.

On Sept. 5, 1986, Bellinger was stabbed to death near Biscayne Boulevard. A fisherman found his body in a field north of Northwest 82nd Street and west of the Little River Canal Dam.

Almost immediately, police suspected "religious overtones" were involved in his death. Bellinger died of multiple stab wounds to his upper body and torso that exposed his intestines.

The indictment says Yahweh member Carl Douglas Perry, also known as Aher Israel, killed Bellinger.

* Raymond Kelly, 61, a motor-pool mechanic for the city of South Miami.

On Sept. 5, 1986, someone stabbed Kelley to death, severing both ears. His body, spectacles still on, was found in his car, parked at the Teepee Lounge on South Dixie Highway. The left ear was missing; the right ear was found near the car.

Yahweh member Robert Rozier, 33, a former professional football player, confessed to the murder.

He testified that the ear was brought back and presented to the sect leader as a symbol of a "confirmed kill." Rozier says he and another Yahweh were ordered to pick a white victim at random to avenge the death of a black man. The victim "just happened to be there."

The sect leader "always taught that we keep the law against the devils, the white devils, " Rozier testified. "When they kill one of us, we kill one of them. . . . He teaches that since white people believe that all black people look alike, we believe all white people look alike."

* Cecil Branch, 45, a garbage man known as "Big Man."

On Sept. 20, 1986, four men -- three in turbans -- approached Branch's house, witnesses testified. The killers stabbed him 25 times, severing the top of his right ear. The ear was missing from the crime scene. The landlord, a cop, found Branch's body, bound and gagged, in his house.

Before the murder, Branch confronted Yahwehs soliciting donations, witnesses testified. He pushed a Yahweh woman, who became hysterical. She wrote down his license tag as other devotees screamed, "Yahweh! Yahweh!"

Three Yahweh men -- a state prosecutor called them "bone crushers" -- showed up briefly. Later, Branch chased Yahweh women away from his home.

Rozier pleaded guilty. Three accomplices were not charged at the time.

* Harry Byers, 68, a street person with a drinking problem.

On Oct. 1, 1986, someone stabbed Byers to death, severing and taking his left ear. A cop, exercising his police dog, found the body in front of a park bench at Legion Park on Biscayne Boulevard.

* Reinaldo Echevarria.

On Oct. 10, 1986, Echevarria was stabbed to death near Northwest 103rd Street and 30th Avenue by Brian K. Lewis, also known as Hezion Israel. The Dade state attorney's office decided not to file charges after Lewis, who was injured during the attack, claimed it was self-defense.

* Rudy Broussard, 37, and Anthony Brown, 28, both tenants opposing a Yahweh takeover of an Opa-locka apartment complex.

On Oct. 31, 1986, Yahwehs lured Broussard out of his apartment.

He was shot in the head. The killers chased Brown, forced him to the ground and shot him as he pleaded for mercy, witnesses testified.

Rozier pleaded guilty to both murders, although he denied he shot either victim. He named two accomplices, Aher Israel and Seth Israel. Aher was not charged. In December 1987, Seth died of a gunshot wound during a drug dispute at a Miami motel.

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