By Sam Stanton and Bill Lindelof
Citrus Heights police have detained a close friend of slain skinhead leader David Austin Lynch, but they have not linked him to Wednesday's killing and the man's former mother-in-law told The Bee today that the two men were best of friends.
Charles Gilbert Demar III, a 36-year-old tattoo artist and skinhead band leader, was booked into the Sacramento County Jail Wednesday night on drug and gang charges and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail. Demar declined to be interviewed by The Bee in the jail this morning.
In a statement, Citrus Heights police said they had detained Demar as a "person of interest" in during a traffic stop in Rancho Cordova Wednesday afternoon.
"CHPD detectives spoke with him and, as a result, did not arrest him for the homicide," the police statement said. "In an unrelated event, CHPD detectives arrested Mr. Demar for narcotics-related charges and subsequently booked him into Sacramento jail on those charges.
"The homicide investigation is on-going by CHPD Investigations Division. We have no further information at this time."
Police originally declined to identify the victim in Wednesday's slaying. Lynch's identity was first confirmed by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Demar's former mother-in-law, Kelly Caramella, told The Bee today that police had detained her for questioning Wednesday afternoon and wanted information about Demar.
"It is totally ludicrous," she said. "It is impossible that Charlie would hurt Dave, they loved each other as brothers."
Demar was married to Caramella's daughter, Sara, for several years before they split up, Caramella said. Sara Demar, 31, died Feb. 19 from undetermined causes, according to the coroner.
Since her death, Caramella said, both Lynch and Demar helped raise money to pay for Sara's funeral expenses.
"If it hadn't been for David and Charlie working together, I don't know what I would do with my daughter," she said.
Lynch was a nationally known figure among skinhead and other white supremacy groups nationwide. The 40-year-old asbestos removal expert was found dead inside his Citrus Heights home before dawn Wednesday with gunshot wounds to the head and torso. His 33-year-old girlfriend, who was five months' pregnant with their child, was found in a hallway with a bullet wound to the leg.
Law enforcement sources have told The Bee that a peson of interest detained Wednesday was a Lynch associate who had recently been fired by Lynch. But Caramella said Lynch had nothing to do with the firing of Demar in the past few days at an environmental company.
"Dave had nothing to do with it at all," Caramella said.
Demar is a tattoo artist and skinhead follower who is well known in such circles and by law enforcement. His alias is listed as "Boots," and a Sacramento sheriff's gang specialist said he has "Doc Marten" boots tattooed on his cheeks.
He is the lead singer in Stormtroop 16, singing under the name "Charlie Boots" in what he described as a "fusion" band in a 2007 interview with EU Times.
One review of the band's CD "Steel Capped Justice" calls it "one of the greatest White Power albums to have ever been recorded in the United States" and lists song titles such as "Fight for Freedom" and "White Separation."
Demar has been "a person of interest in many different crimes," Sacramento sheriff's Lt. Milo Fitch said today. Fitch, who came to know both Lynch and Demar while heading the department's gang unit, said Demar told him once that Lynch was the only friend who bothered to visit him while he was in prison.
California corrections records indicate Demar was sentenced to two years in prison in 1993 on burglary and receiving stolen property charges. He was sent to prison again in 2001 out of Sacramento County on a seven-year sentence on two assault charges. He was paroled twice and last discharged April 17, 2008, records show.
Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.
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