EAST MADISON — A former member of a New Hampshire white supremacist prison gang is being held at Somerset County Jail even though he was charged in Oxford County with robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault.
Randall Joseph Chapman, 37, was booked Thursday afternoon at the county jail in East Madison under an inmate boarding agreement between Somerset County and the state Board of Corrections.
Chapman, known as “Pitbull,” reportedly has a kill order on his head issued by leaders of the Brotherhood of White Warriors after he testified in a trial of a gang member in a jailhouse murder case.
Somerset County Jail Administrator Cory Swope and Chief Deputy Dale Lancaster said Somerset authorities are aware of Chapman’s background and are taking precautions to ensure his safety and the safety of other inmates.
Oxford County Jail is a 72-hour holding center and officials had to move Chapman to a full-time jail, Lancaster said. Lancaster said Chapman was first sent to Kennebec County jail in Augusta, but it was not adequate to hold him, so he was sent to Somerset County, a secure jail built in 2009.
“We have had conversations with Oxford County and we are aware of his status. He’s a special-needs management inmate,” said Lancaster. “We are well aware of the circumstances surrounding Mr. Chapman. Our staff has been trained, our facility is state-of-the-art and we will take appropriate precautions on handling Mr. Chapman.”
Swope said each inmate at Somerset County Jail has been assigned a classification, which determines placement in the jail.
“There are factors present in his case that puts him at a higher risk level,” Swope said. “We start with our lowest risk level offender – minimum classification – and he’s at the top end of that.”
They said they cannot release details about where Chapman is being held – in the general population or in an isolated cell – for security reasons.
Chapman is awaiting trial in Oxford County but Oxford County Assistant District Attorney Joseph O’Connor said Chapman’s name does not appear on the trial list. He said a new list will be announced Tuesday. O’Connor said he doesn’t know if Chapman has a lawyer.
Chapman, who is identified in prison records as a former member of the Brotherhood of White Warriors, was arrested May 28 by Maine State Police in Gray after being on the run since May 19, the Associated Press reported.
He is charged with slashing a kidnapped victim’s face during a robbery in Rumford. Police said Chapman used a woman to lure the victim to an apartment where the man was robbed and forced to drive to an ATM to withdraw money, according to published reports.
On the way to the ATM, the victim saw police cruisers in a parking lot, pulled in and sounded his horn to alert the officers, and Chapman ran. While he was on the run, police warned that he should be considered dangerous.
Chapman pleaded not guilty to robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault. He was ordered held on $50,000 bail. O’Connor said Chapman’s bail remains the same.
In July, Chapman testified in New Hampshire in the trial of William Edic, who is charged with helping to kill inmate Anthony Renzzulla, a New Hampshire State Prison inmate, in 2010.
Edic and Thomas Milton, who were both Brotherhood members and inmates at the prison in Concord, are charged with second-degree murder in the beating death. Renzzulla suffered head injuries and died of them 16 months later.
According to a police affidavit obtained by the Concord Monitor newspaper, Renzzulla’s beating had been ordered by Brotherhood prison leaders who suspected Renzzulla was a snitch.
Chapman, who was serving time for armed robbery at the prison, admitted he followed orders and helped clean up blood after Renzzulla was beaten fatally. He pleaded guilty to falsifying physical evidence and was sentenced to one to five years.
By pleading guilty, Chapman is believed to have broken the rules of the Brotherhood of White Warriors, who assumed he was cooperating with the authorities in an attempt to implicate other members, according to a the Monitor, which did a series of newspaper articles on the gang.
Brotherhood leadership retaliated by issuing what the gang world refers to as a “terminate on sight” order against Chapman, according to the Monitor.
Chapman was allowed to serve his New Hampshire parole out of state because gang leadership had ordered him killed for helping law enforcement, according to court records. Before his arrest in May, Chapman had a Lewiston address.
Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at firstname.lastname@example.org