Watch CBS News

Ex-Air Force Sgt., alleged 'Boogaloo' follower changing plea in slaying of federal officer Patrick Underwood

OAKLAND (CBS SF/AP) -- Former U.S. Air Force Sgt. Steven Carrillo, an alleged follower of the Boogaloo Boys movement, plans to change his not guilty plea in the fatal shooting of Federal Protective Officer Dave Patrick Underwood under the cover of 2020 protests in Oakland against police brutality, according to court records.

The change of plea comes in the wake of federal prosecutors agreeing to not seek the death penalty in the case.

Carrillo, 33, pleaded not guilty in July 2020 to killing Underwood, who was shot on May 29, 2020, while he stood in a guard shack in front of a federal building in Oakland.

Court records showed Carrillo, of Santa Cruz, is scheduled to change his plea Friday at a federal court in San Francisco. His attorney, James Thomson, did not immediately return an email Monday from The Associated Press seeking comment. Bay Area News Group reported that Carrillo planned to plead guilty.

Prosecutors say Carrillo had ties to the "boogaloo" movement, a concept embraced by a loose network of gun enthusiasts and militia-style extremists. The group started in alt-right culture on the internet with the belief that there is an impending civil war, according to experts.

Authorities accused Carrillo of fatally shooting Underwood from a white van after developing a plot with Robert Alvin Justus Jr., of Millbrae. The pair is accused of driving to Oakland and taking advantage of the distraction afforded by protesters marching through the city's downtown. Justus drove the van, authorities said.

A week after the shooting in Oakland, Carrillo allegedly ambushed sheriff's deputies in Santa Cruz County who were responding to a report of a van containing firearms and bomb-making materials. Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, 38, was killed and several other law enforcement officials were wounded, according to authorities and court records.

Prosecutors in Santa Cruz County charged Carrillo with a slew of felonies, including murder and attempted murder in connection to that killing.

Carrillo pleaded not guilty to Gutzwiller's killing.

Underwood's family has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Facebook, claiming the social media platform allowed users to connect to extremist groups and promoted divisive, inflammatory, and untrue content, leading to his slaying.

Underwood's sister Angela Jacobs filed the suit in Alameda County Superior Court.

"We believe and intend to show that Facebook's conduct has led to a rise in extremism throughout the world and acts of real-world violence, including the murder of Officer Underwood," attorney Ted Leopold said in a statement. "It is time that Facebook is finally held accountable for its actions."

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.