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Racist skinhead pleads guilty to murder of homeless men in Florida

Kenneth Hoover, 34, formerly of Florida, and presently a resident of Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and racketeering for beating two homeless men to death in Tampa in 1998.

Hoover and Charles Marovskis, 29, of Pennsylvania, both members of the Pennsylvania racist group the Keystone State Skinheads, were arrested in January 2007 for the killing.

At the time of the incident, Hoover and Marovskis were members of the racist skinhead group Tampa Blood and Honour, and were allegedly among a group of fellow members who brutally killed the two homeless men as part of a race war, with the goal of killing anyone they considered inferior, and as part of an initiation rite to prove their worth to the gang.

The body of one victim, a 62-year-old man, was discovered under a highway overpass after being beaten and stabbed in the eye with a tire iron.  The second victim, a 44-year-old man, was killed with an ax and later found in the woods.

Hoover has entered a federal plea agreement in which he has agreed to cooperate with the "investigation and prosecution of other persons" who participated in the attack.  In return, the State Attorney's Office will not seek the death penalty, although that decision ultimately remains within the judge's discretion.

Hoover actually pleaded guilty in January, but his identity was concealed until April due to an ongoing investigation.  Marovskis' name was released shortly after his arrest and he is awaiting trial.

The case remains open and additional arrests may be forthcoming. 

The homeless are a common target of attacks by racist skinheads, primarily because they are vulnerable and usually defenseless targets.  In March 2007, three members of the Indiana-based racist skinhead organization, the Vinlanders Social Club, a group that helped raise funds for Marovskis after his arrest, were arrested in Indiana for allegedly assaulting a homeless man.

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