Malissa Ancona, 46, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in St. Francois County Court in Farmington, Mo., according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
She’s charged in connection to the death of her husband, 51-year-old Frank Ancona Jr., imperial wizards of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which boasts dozens of members nationwide.
The group, which supports the separation of races and opposes “equality propaganda,” had around 30 members in 2017.
Ancona, whose husband founded the Klan Faction in 2009, admitted to the 2017 shooting of her now-deceased husband after maintaining that her son had killed him. She was sentenced to life in prison as part of her agreement with state prosecutors, according to USA Today.
Frank Ancona Sr. said his son was murdered because he was going to leave his wife. He was made to identify his son’s remains, saying Ancona Jr. had “no face left.”
Ancona Jr. died by gunshot wounds to the head. A coroner determined his cause of death after he was found neat the Big River in Belgrade, Mo., 70 miles southwest of St. Louis. Ancona reported her husband missing, and told authorities that her son, Paul Jinkerson Jr., killed her husband in her sleep after he asked her mother for a divorce.
In subsequent letters from jail, however, Ancona would change her story, writing that she was “under the influence” when she made her initial statements.
“I fired both shots that killed my husband,” the Post-Dispatch reported Malissa Ancona told a judge Friday. Jinkerson faces first-degree murder charges for abandoning a corpse and tampering with evidence, though his mother maintained he was not guilty of murder in court Friday.
Jinkerson’s lawyer, Eric Barnhart, told media that “the true killer” had “admitted her guilt” in court.
The Traditionalist Knights, based in Park Hills, Mo., maintain chapters in Pennsylvania and Idaho, and had a known presence in Florida and South Dakota, according tot he Southern Poverty Law Center, which labeled it “one of the smallest groups out there.”.
Carolyn Ancona, Ancona Jr.’s daughter, told media gathered, through tears, that her father “didn’t deserve this.”
“No one deserves this.”