Man accused of decapitating father allegedly wanted to mobilize National Guard against federal government

Justin Mohn, 32, was arrested inside a military installation.

February 2, 2024, 2:01 PM

A Pennsylvania man accused of decapitating his father at their home this week allegedly went to a military training center following the gruesome murder to mobilize the National Guard against the federal government, prosecutors said Friday.

Justin Mohn, 32, was arrested inside Fort Indiantown Gap hours after his father was found dismembered in the bathroom of their home in Middletown Township in Bucks County on Tuesday, police said.

Fort Indiantown Gap police found the suspect trespassing inside the military installation after scaling a barbed-wire fence, according to Bucks County District Attorney Jennifer Schorn. He had a loaded firearm that was missing one round and was taken into custody without incident, she said.

Justin Mohn, a suspect in his father's murder and decapitation, poses in a booking photograph at Bucks County Correctional Facility, Jan. 31, 2024, in Doylestown, Pa.
Bucks County District Attorney's Office/Handout via Reuters

The suspect had posted a 14-minute video on YouTube following the murder that showed the remains of his deceased father and a "call to arms for American patriots" to kill federal employees, Schorn said during a press briefing on Friday.

His father -- Michael Mohn, 68, a federal employee with the Army Corps of Engineers -- was found dead in a bathroom by his wife, police said. His wife ran to a neighbor's house to call 911, Schorn said. Responding officers found a large kitchen knife and machete at the scene, according to a police criminal complaint.

An autopsy found that the victim had been fatally shot then dismembered with the knife and machete, according to Schorn.

Police also received several 911 calls over the YouTube video, which had garnered at least 5,000 views, Schorn said.

"It's quite horrifying how many views we understand it had before it was taken down," Schorn said. "Obviously we were able to capture and secure that video because it's self-explanatory as to who's responsible, although these are allegations at this point."

Justin Mohn had fled from the home in his father's vehicle and is believed to have traveled directly to Fort Indiantown Gap, a National Guard Training Center, Schorn said.

"The defendant stated he went to Fort Indiantown Gap in an effort to mobilize the PA National Guard to raise arms against the federal government," Schorn said.

Bucks County District Attorney Jennifer Schorn speaks to the press, Feb. 2, 2024.

His father's vehicle was located near the military installation Tuesday night after pinging the suspect's cellphone, according to a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesperson.

Middletown Township Police Chief Joseph Bartorilla commended the multiple agencies involved on the "fast apprehension" of the suspect.

"If Justin hadn't been apprehended, can you imagine the manhunt that would have been underway shortly thereafter and how everything would have been focused on finding him and how the entire community would have been in a state of panic," the chief told reporters during the briefing.

Justin Mohn has been charged with first-degree murder, abuse of a corpse and possession of a criminal weapon. He has been denied bail and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 8. It is unclear if he has an attorney at this time.

Additional charges are being evaluated, Schorn said.

The Mohn family home is shown, Jan. 31, 2024, in Levittown, Pa.

Justin Mohn legally purchased his firearm on Monday, the day before the homicide, according to Schorn. The suspect even surrendered his medical marijuana card to be eligible to purchase a firearm and was "of clear mind in his purpose," she said.

He has no history of diagnosed mental health issues and there was "nothing legally precluding him from purchasing that gun," she said.

Justin Mohn lived at the home with his parents, police said. He had previously lived in Colorado and worked for a contractor for Microsoft, but is currently unemployed, the district attorney said.

Middletown Township police had three prior contacts with the suspect prior to his arrest, according to Bartorilla. In 2011, police responded to the home regarding an argument he was having with someone in the driveway, though there was no criminal matter, the chief said.

In 2019, Justin Mohn contacted police to report an alleged threat he received in connection with a lawsuit he had filed, Bartorilla said.

Last year, the suspect's employer in Philadelphia called the department and "expressed concern about Justin's behavior at work and wanting legal advice on how to go about terminating his employment," the chief said.

Bartorilla said they referred the unidentified employer to legal resources.

"I think there was concern over what Justin was writing, some novels he was writing, but we did not have contact with him after that," the chief said.

The homicide investigation remains active and could take months, Schorn said. She also said they are investigating "communication" on Discord regarding the suspect's "call to arms for American patriots."

YouTube said they are tracking to remove any re-uploads of the video.

"YouTube has strict policies prohibiting graphic violence and violent extremism," the company said in a statement on Wednesday. "The video was removed for violating our graphic violence policy and Justin Mohn’s channel was terminated in line with our violent extremism policies."