Alabama man arrested in ritual killing of animals

ROME, Ga. — An Alabama man accused of the theft and ritual slaying of a ram during a white supremacist gathering 18 months ago was arrested and subsequently released, authorities said.

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Brandon Gregory Ashley, 27, of Hayden, was extradited Thursday from the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham to Rome, Georgia, the Rome News-Tribune reported.

Ashley was released from the Floyd County Jail after posting bail of $10,000, the newspaper reported.

In March, a Floyd County jury indicted Ashley, Patrik Mathews, William Garfield Bilbrough IV, Brian Mark Lemley Jr., Duncan Christopher Trimmell, Luke Lane, Michael Helterbrand and Jacob Kaderli on charges of aggravated animal cruelty and livestock theft charges, the News-Tribune reported.

Prosecutors said that Ashley and the others stole and sacrificed the ram as part of a ritual for a group called the Base, a loosely-knit group of white supremacists that favored using violence to accelerate overthrowing the U.S. government, The Associated Press reported.

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