Testimony Traces Gun Used To Kill Denver Radio Host
Oct. 19, 1985
SEATTLE (AP) _ Cartridge casings from the machine gun used to kill a Denver radio host were found in a Montana house rented by a man accused of pulling the trigger and at an Idaho house where the gun was found, FBI agents testified Friday.
The machine gun, which used .45-caliber bullets, was found in the northern Idaho home of Gary Yarbrough, one of 10 alleged members of the white supremacist group The Order on trial on federal racketeering charges.
Casings found there matched those recovered from the Denver scene where radio host Alan Berg was slain, FBI gun specialist Robert Murphy testified.
Additional casings, from the same gun, and a bullet were recovered from a Troy, Mont., house rented by Bruce Pierce after the slaying, said FBi agent Ernie Smith. Prosecutors say Pierce actually pulled the trigger in Berg's death.
Order members are accused of killing Berg and another man, counterfeiting money and staging a string of robberies that netted more than $4 million as they waged a crusade against Jews, racial minorities and the federal government.
Steve Fiddler, an FBI agent from Great Falls, Mont., said he and other agents searched Yarbrough's home near Sandpoint, Idaho, after an Oct. 18, 1984, incident in which Yarbrough allegedly fired at three FBI agents who approached his home.
Agents found a number of weapons, including a MAC 10 machine gun, he said.
In a case with the gun, Fiddler said, were a homemade silencer, a removable shoulder stock, a flash suppressor to decrease the amount of light the gun emits when firing, and three loaded ammunition clips.
Murphy said he determined the gun had been altered to be fully automatic.
The gun, whose serial number had been obliterated, was capable of firing as many as 950 rounds per minute or about 16 rounds per second, he said.
Yarbrough is not accused of participating in Berg's June 18, 1984, slaying.
But the indictment that named him and 22 others alleges four Order members made up a ''hit squad'' that ambushed Berg in the driveway of his Denver home. Berg weas shot at least 12 times.
Previous witnesses have testified that Pierce and Yarbrough expressed concern because the gun allegedly jammed on the 13th round.
Eleven others of the 23 people charged in the racketeering indictment have pleaded guilty, one is at large and one is jailed in Missouri on charges of killing a state trooper.