Lords of Chaos: 3 sentenced in murder of band teacher

Derek Shields

Derek Shields

Christopher P. Black

Christopher P. Black

— Two of the last three Lords of Chaos to be formally sentenced apologized Monday for the killing of Riverdale High School band director Mark Schwebes, just before Circuit Judge Isaac Anderson sent them to prison.

"I'm sorry," said Chris Black, who was sentenced to life without parole for his role in the April 30, 1996, shotgun slaying, which the self-styled militia group carried out in the doorway of the teacher's South Fort Myers duplex. "I think that's enough. It's all I can offer."

Derek Shields will also spend the rest of his life behind bars. Shields admitted he knocked on the door then stepped aside as Kevin Foster, the teen-age leader the Lords of Chaos called "God," fired a 12-gauge blast into Schwebes' face.

"I guess not," Shields answered when Anderson asked if he had anything to say. "I'm sorry for everything that happened."

Peter Magnotti, the first of the young gang to strike a plea bargain, was sentenced to 32 years in prison. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, but escaped the more serious first-degree murder charge. Foster was the only one to go to trial. He was convicted of first-degree murder in March and sentenced to the electric chair.

The murder of Schwebes was the culmination of a three-week crime spree that included the torching of the historic Coca-Cola bottling plant in downtown Fort Myers and an aviary outside the Hut Restaurant in Buckingham, where the Lords of Chaos members reportedly watched the birds inside burn to death.

The group also admitted to an armed robbery and carjacking outside a restaurant and setting fire to a local Baptist church. The young gang had bigger plans, investigators believe, that included a trip to Disney World in Orlando to shoot black tourists and mug theme park characters for their costumes.

The four planned Schwebes' murder after the teacher, at school late for an ice cream social, caught gang members armed with cans of peaches to throw through the gymnasium windows. The three, who testified against Foster, said the teacher sealed his doom by warning them that they'd hear from school officials the next day.

The boys picked up the shotgun Foster's mother had given him and made their way to Schwebes' home. Since Shields was best known to Schwebes, he knocked on the door. When the teacher answered, Foster met him with a shotgun blast, then shot him again as he lay bleeding in the doorway.

Three days later the boys were arrested after deputies were tipped they were going to rob the Hardee's restaurant where Shields and Magnotti worked.

Schwebes' sister Pam Dunbar watched the sentencings but left without comment.

© 1998 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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