Arizona Racist Skinheads Sentenced for Attempted Murder

  • June 13, 2008


A Maricopa County, Arizona, judge has sentenced the last of four racist skinhead defendants for their role in the attempted murder of one of their own gang members in 2006.  Kelly Ann Harkins, 29, received an 18-year sentence on June 3, 2008, after pleading guilty to attempted first-degree murder.

In January 2006, four members of the Arizona Northern America Skinheads/SS Guardians, a loosely organized racist skinhead group, took Amanda Crow, a 19-year-old recent recruit of the group, into the desert outside Phoenix. 

The assailants beat her, slit her throat and severed her spinal cord, and left her for dead.  Crow was later found by a group of recreational ATV riders who obtained aid for her.  She ultimately survived the attack, but remains a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down. 

The Anti-Defamation League assisted law enforcement in identifying both the victim and the perpetrators.  While in the hospital Crow was able to identify the first names of several assailants.  ADL provided police with names and photographs of possible suspects, helping them identify the assailants. 

In February 2006, police arrested Kelly Ann Harkins of Tucson, and Edward Maurice Ware, Jessica Laura Bruner, and Jason Matthew Shakofsky, all from metropolitan Phoenix. 

All four were charged with attempted first-degree murder.  The defendants all eventually entered guilty pleas.  In November 2007, Ware received a life sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder as a class 1 dangerous felony.  The other three pleaded to lesser charges.  In May 2008, Bruner, 26, received a 21-year sentence after pleading guilty to attempted first-degree murder as a class 2 felony. 

That same month, Shakofsky, 28, received a seven and a half year prison term after pleading guilty to the amended charge of hindering prosecution in the first degree as a class 3 felony. Finally, on June 3, 2008, the judge sentenced Harkins to 18 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder as a class 2 felony.  

Amanda Crow addressed the court at all three of the recent sentencings.