Chevie O'Brien Kehoe (born January 29, 1973) is an American white supremacist and convicted murderer. He is serving three consecutive life sentences for the kidnapping, torture, and murder of William Mueller and his family.
Kehoe was born in Orange Park, Florida, United States. He was the oldest of eight sons born to Kirby and Gloria Kehoe, and was named after his father's favorite brand of automobile (Chevrolet). His father had served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. When Kehoe was an infant, his father moved the family to Madison County, North Carolina.
In 1985, Kirby moved the family again, this time to near Deep Lake in Stevens County, Washington. Kehoe entered Colville Junior High School as a ninth grader in 1987 where he was an honor student. Coincidently, future serial killer Israel Keyes was a family friend. In 1988, his parents pulled him and his younger brother Cheyne out of public school, and from then on they were home-schooled.
Raised with increasingly extreme anti-government and white supremacist beliefs, Kehoe formed a plan to bring down the United States government with his self-styled "Aryan People's Republic" militia. To attract recruits, Kehoe embarked upon a series of firearms and property crimes that would eventually lead him from his home in Eastern Washington to Arkansas (the home of the Mueller family) as he followed gun show events. Meanwhile, Kehoe had married Karena Gumm and the couple had three children. Kehoe took a second wife, Angie Settle (also known as Angie Murray) in 1993, but the relationship only lasted for 54 days.
In February 1995, Kehoe and his father burglarized the Tilly, Arkansas, home of William Frederick Mueller, a gun dealer who had a large collection of weapons, ammunition and cash. In June 1995, Kehoe and an accomplice kidnapped and robbed Malcolm and Jill Friedman, a couple believed to be Jewish, who owned a store at which Kehoe was once employed.
In January 1996, Kehoe and another accomplice, Daniel Lewis Lee, returned to the home of Mueller. Kehoe and Lee murdered Mueller, his wife Nancy Ann Mueller (née Branch), and his 8-year-old stepdaughter, Sarah Elizabeth Powell, and dumped their bodies in a swamp. Kehoe and his family took the stolen property to a motel in Spokane, Washington, by way of the Christian Identity community of Elohim City, Oklahoma.
William Mueller had put some of the stolen firearms into a Federal Firearms License registry as insurance against potential theft. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) used the ID numbers in the registry to trace the stolen firearms to several other men who confirmed they had purchased them in Spokane from Chevie Kehoe and his father Kirby.
In February 15, 1997, Kehoe and his brother Cheyne were involved in a shootout with an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper, J Harold Harker and a deputy sheriff, Robert Gates, in Wilmington, Ohio. The Highway Patrol trooper had stopped their vehicle, a blue Chevy Suburban, for driving too slowly and erratically on the road and found the license plate and registration had expired; the brothers also failed to produce any driver's licenses. Chevie Kehoe, the driver, complied with the officer's orders to get out of the car but warned him against touching him when he tried to search him. The deputy noticed the trouble the state trooper was having with Chevie and stopped to help. As one of the officers called for a tow truck to impound the vehicle, Chevie suddenly began to dash back to the vehicle with the officers in pursuit. The officers had pinned Chevie to a patrol car and were trying to subdue him when Cheyne produced a handgun from his passenger seat and opened fire at the officers, allowing Chevie to jump back into the Suburban and escape. Cheyne himself fled into the nearby woods, where police searched unsuccessfully for him for the whole day. The shootout was recorded. Footage of the shootout was first aired in 1997 on FOX's World's Scariest Police Shootouts. Since then it has been shown on television programs such as Most Shocking, Police In Pursuits, World's Most Amazing Videos and Under Fire.
After fleeing from police, Chevie and Cheyne Kehoe traveled secretly with their families through different states before settling in a ranch in Utah. They worked for the local ranch owner for a time, but disputes between the brothers over Chevie's extremist ideology grew bitter and eventually violent, and ultimately Cheyne left, taking his family with him. He subsequently surrendered to local police and directed them and the FBI back to the Utah ranch, where Chevie Kehoe was arrested in June 17, 1997.
Trial and aftermath
On February 20, 1998, Kehoe pled guilty in Ohio state court to felonious assault, attempted murder, and carrying a concealed weapon related to a February 15, 1997, shootout in Wilmington, Ohio with an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper and a Clinton County sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop resulting from expired tags on his 1977 Chevrolet Suburban.
In 1999, Kehoe was convicted in federal court of the January 1996 murders of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife Nancy Mueller, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell. He received three sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Kehoe's mother Gloria and his younger brother Cheyne served as prosecution witnesses and testified against him at the trial. However, they both kept the secret until he got caught.
Kehoe is currently imprisoned at the Florence ADMAX USP, Colorado, under Federal Bureau of Prisons register number: #21300-009