Watch CBS News

Man Indicted On Terrorism Charges In Murder Of College Student In West Orange

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A Seattle man was indicted on terrorism and murder charges Thursday in a shooting that killed a college student in West Orange, New Jersey last year.

Ali Muhammad Brown, 30, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of terrorism, one count of murder and other charges in the June 25, 2014 shooting that killed Brendan Tevlin, 19, of Livingston, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's office.

It was the first murder case in New Jersey in which a defendant was charged with terrorism under state law, prosecutors said. Brown had allegedly said he was motivated by a "bloody crusade'' to punish the U.S. government for its foreign policies.

Man Indicted On Terrorism Charges In Murder Of College Student In West Orange

Tevlin was shot and killed as he stopped at a traffic light at Walker Road and Northfield Avenue West Orange on his way home.

Tevlin was driving back from visiting friends at the time, prosecutors said.

Brendan Tevlin
Brendan Tevlin, 19, was found shot to death in his family's jeep. (Credit: CBS 2)

Investigators said Brown then drove Tevlin's vehicle to an apartment complex on Northfield Avenue where he stole undisclosed items from the victim.

Tevlin had just completed his freshman year at the University of Richmond in Virginia and was home from college for the summer.

"The investigation in King County and New Jersey reveals that this defendant is responsible for a series of murders, none of which appear to be provoked, and all of which show an extreme level of violence,'' King County, Washington Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in a statement.

Detectives tracked Brown through cartridge casings linked to the slayings and surveillance video that showed a distinctive Dodge Durango sport-utility vehicle. Prosecutors said police were also able to get a palm print from inside a victim's car in the Seattle slayings that was matched to Brown.

Brown allegedly later told police his mission was vengeance and said lives are taken every day by America, so "a life for a life."

Brown had earlier been charged with aggravated murder in the June 1 shooting deaths of two young men in Seattle, Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young, and in the April 27 shooting of 30-year-old Leroy Henderson in Skyway, south of Seattle.

Henderson was out walking late at night when he was shot. The young Seattle men were shot a short time after they left a nightclub.

"The defendant was on a bloody crusade, executing four innocent men --- with the same murder weapon, over the course of approximately two months, and all under the common and single scheme of exacting 'vengeance' against the United States government for its foreign policies,'' King County prosecutors said in court documents.

Brown told cops he chose his victims because they were adult men with no women or children around.

In a probable cause affidavit filed in Seattle, King County sheriff's Detective John Pavlovich said Brown described himself to detectives after his New Jersey arrest as a strict Muslim who had become angry with what he described as the U.S. government's role in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan that he said had led to the death of innocent civilians and children.

In a subsequent July 25 recorded interview in New Jersey, Pavlovich wrote, Brown described his idea of a "just kill,'' in which the target was an adult male unaccompanied by women, children or elderly people.

Brown had also been wanted in connection with armed robbery and carjacking that took place at a Point Pleasant coffee shop.

Brown served federal prison time for conspiracy to commit bank fraud in connection with a plot to defraud several banks, The Seattle Times reported.

In that case, between January 2002 and November 2004, Brown and three other men defrauded U.S. Bank, Bank of America, Key Bank, Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo and Boeing Employees Credit Union by depositing counterfeit and fake checks, then withdrawing funds before the checks were returned, according to charging documents filed in U.S. District Court.

Two alleged accomplices, Eric Williams, 19, and Jeremy Villagran, 20 -- both West Orange – had also been charged in Tevlin's murder. Charges against Williams and Villagran were dropped Friday, prosecutors said.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.