DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The man accused of decapitating his father in their home northeast of Philadelphia and posting a video of the severed head online first shot him with a gun he bought the previous day, the county prosecutor said Friday.
Justin D. Mohn had a clear purpose when he allegedly killed his father Tuesday before driving about two hours to a Pennsylvania National Guard training center where he was found with a handgun and arrested, Bucks County District Attorney Jennifer Schorn said at news conference in Doylestown. An autopsy showed the man’s father, Michael Mohn, had been shot in the head before he was decapitated with a knife and machete, she said.
Justin Mohn, 32, didn’t have a diagnosed history of mental illness and purchased the 9mm handgun legally, Schorn said, surrendering a medical marijuana card before the purchase so he could be eligible to buy the weapon.
“It was evident to us that he was of clear mind in his purpose and what he was doing, aside from what his beliefs are,” Schorn said.
A woman answering the phone at the Bucks County Office of the Public Defender said Friday that they were representing him and said the office declined further comment.
Justin Mohn was arrested late Tuesday at Fort Indiantown Gap. His mother discovered the remains of her husband in the Levittown home where the three lived together and went to a neighbor’s house to ask them to call police, Schorn said.
Justin Mohn’s video, which was taken down by YouTube after several hours, included rants about the government, a theme he also embraced with violent rhetoric in writings published online going back several years.
Schorn said authorities took possession of the video but expressed concern over the hours that it remained online.
“It’s quite horrifying how many views we understand it had before it was taken down,” she said.
Michael Mohn worked as an engineer with the geoenvironmental section of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District.
Justin Mohn faces charges of first-degree murder, abusing a corpse and possession of instruments of crime. He is being held without bail.
In the YouTube video, Justin Mohn picked up his father’s head and identified him. Police said it appeared he was reading from a script as he encouraged violence against government officials and called his father a 20-year federal employee and a traitor. He also espoused a variety of conspiracy theories and rants about the Biden administration, immigration and the border, fiscal policy, urban crime and the war in Ukraine.
Police said Denice Mohn arrived at their home in the suburb of Levittown about 7 p.m. Tuesday and found her husband’s body, but her son and a vehicle were missing. A machete and bloody rubber gloves were at the scene, according to a police affidavit.
In August 2020, Mohn wrote that people born in or after 1991 — his own birth year — should carry out a “bloody revolution.”
Mohn apparently drove his father’s car to Fort Indiantown Gap in central Pennsylvania and was arrested. Cellphone signals helped locate him, according to Angela Watson, communications director for the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
Scolforo reported from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.