Pa. man faces terrorism charges after allegedly beheading father and calling on ‘patriots’ to take up arms against federal workers


The Pennsylvania man accused of fatally shooting and beheading his father and displaying his decapitated head in a YouTube video has been charged with three counts of terrorism.

The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that Justin Mohn, 32, was charged with three counts of terrorism; two counts of possession of an instrument of crime; and one count each of robbery, carrying firearms without a license, theft, receiving stolen property, criminal use of a communication facility, terroristic threats and defiant trespassing.

He had already been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the alleged murder of his father, 68-year-old Michael Mohn, who worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

On the night of the alleged slaying, Mohn posted a video to social media urging “patriots around the country” to take up arms against other federal employees. He is being held without bail. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for April 2.

How the grisly case unfolded

A vehicle is parked in the driveway of a home where police say a father was found murdered and beheaded.

A vehicle is parked in the driveway of a home in Levittown, Pa., where police say a father was found murdered and beheaded on Jan. 31. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Prosecutors allege that Justin Daniel Mohn was acting with a “clear mind” when he killed and dismembered his father in Middletown Township, just north of Philadelphia, where he lived with his parents.

An autopsy later determined that Michael Mohn died of a gunshot wound to the head, and that his head was subsequently removed using a machete.

According to police, Michael Mohn’s wife came home on Jan. 30 to find her husband’s body, then ran to a neighbor’s house and called 911. When police arrived, officers found a decapitated “elderly male in the downstairs bathroom with a large amount of blood around him.” A machete and a large knife were located in the bathtub, and a head “wrapped in Saran Wrap” was discovered in the next room.

Mohn’s wife told police that she had left around 2 p.m. and that her husband and son were the only people at home. She also reported that her husband’s Toyota Corolla was missing when she returned.

A disturbing YouTube video

Justin Mohn who was charged with his father's murder and decapitation speaks on a Youtube broadcast.

Justin Mohn, who was charged with his father’s murder and decapitation, speaks on a Youtube broadcast from their Levittown, Pa., home on Jan. 30. (YouTube via Reuters)

Around the same time, police received multiple calls alerting authorities to a disturbing 14-and-a-half-minute video posted to YouTube showing Justin Mohn displaying Michael Mohn’s severed head while claiming his father was a “traitor to his country” and calling on members of “Mohn’s militia” to take up arms against other federal employees, including a federal judge whose address he disclosed.

The video had been viewed at least 5,000 times before it was taken down, according to an affidavit.

After viewing the YouTube video, investigators confirmed “the gloves, decapitated head, and room are the same as depicted in the video,” the affidavit said.

In a statement following the incident, YouTube said “the video was removed for violating our graphic violence policy” and that Mohn’s YouTube channel was “terminated in line with our violent extremism policies.”

“Our teams are closely tracking to remove any re-uploads of the video,” the company added.

Mohn’s anti-government screeds

Snow blankets the North Lawn of the White House in Washington.

Snow blankets the North Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., last month. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

According to NBC News, Mohn had previously self-published a series of books filled with anti-government rhetoric:

One book, titled “The Revolution Leader’s Survival Guide,” includes “the transcript of a letter to then-President Donald Trump warning of “a peaceful revolution helped by the author if positive change does not come to America and the world soon.”

“He’s been ranting and railing about the government for 10 years now and how they’re out to get him,” Michael Prickett, one of Mohn’s childhood friends, told the news outlet. “We were pretty close growing up as kids, but once he went to college, he went off the rails.”

The horrific case comes amid another divisive election season led by Trump, who is vowing retribution against the Biden administration and federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, which is prosecuting him for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

In addition to the gun, Mohn had a flash drive in his pocket at the time of his arrest. According to the Bucks County District Attorney’s office, it contained “several pictures of federal buildings along with instructions that appeared to show the steps needed to make an explosive device.”

Suspect fled to military base

According to police, Mohn drove his father’s car to a military installation in Fort Indiantown Gap, which is about 110 miles west of Middletown Township.

Mohn then abandoned the vehicle, climbed over a barbed wire fence and entered the base, where he was taken into custody. He had a loaded 9 mm Sig Sauer handgun that was missing one round at the time of his arrest. According to investigators, Mohn had purchased the weapon legally the day before the killing and had even surrendered his medical marijuana card in order to buy it.

Mohn told authorities that he had gone to the outpost “in an effort to mobilize the Pa. National Guard to raise arms against the federal government,” and that he was attempting to contact Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro to get the state to support that effort.


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