The fate of a man accused in the dismemberment of his co-renter in Galt five years ago is in the hands of a jury.
The prosecutor said Arthur Carnes IV made up his mind to murder years ago. Carnes laid it out right there in a manual he posted on his website — it just took a while for him to make it happen, according to the Deputy District Attorney Kevin Greene.
Greene said that when Carnes did decide to act, he allegedly captured the event on film, snapping pictures of the murder scene and the scene where he allegedly left the body.
Carnes, 40, is charged with murder in the Nov. 18, 2007, killing of Matthew Alan Seybert, 41. He had been shot in the head with an AK-47 assault rifle and stabbed 16 times. His head had been cut off, as were his right arm and left leg.
According to Greene, it was all the work of a self-described “natural born killer”: Carnes. He said the defendant plucked the moniker from the movies and stuck it on a manifesto more than 400 pages long in which he articulated his favorite means of administering death and destruction.
Acting as his own lawyer, Carnes admitted that the gun used to kill Seybert was his. He also acknowledged that he owned the camera authorities found when they arrested him a year after the killing.
But “you can’t tell from a bullet who pulled the trigger,” Carnes argued.
As for the pictures, Carnes referred jurors to his remarks at a pretrial hearing, when he said, “I never knew that there were pictures on (the camera) of that nature.”
Following the arguments Thursday, Judge Lloyd G. Connelly sent the jury out to begin deliberations. In a trial marked throughout by heavy security, the panel once again departed out the courtroom’s back door, with two extra sheriff’s deputies posted outside in the front.
Greene told the jury Carnes harbored multiple motives:
- Revenge — Seybert mercilessly referred to the computer-oriented Carnes, who had his own website called RogueSci.org, as “The Geek.”
- Desperation over impending homelessness — Seybert allowed Carnes to stay on the property, but the rental deal ran out and the victim told the defendant he was on his own
- Robbery — Carnes admitted that he fled in Seybert’s car, drained his bank account of $2,000 and stole his Rolex watch.
Carnes disputed his purported motives to kill.
Being called a “geek”? Business icons like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have been referred to as “geeks,” Carnes said, of a term that “these days is not an insult.”
Money? “Divide $2,000 by the rest of your life. Would that be worth it?” he asked.
Left in the lurch? A basement bedroom waited for him in Canada, a trade up from the toolshed he slept in near Galt.
Carnes was found and arrested in Canada in 2009 where authorities found him in possession of the camera containing gruesome photos, attorneys said.
About three weeks after Seybert had gone missing, his body was found the rural property where the victim had been living and where he allowed the defendant to also reside.
Greene said Seybert had planned to move, which also meant Carnes would have to leave. “Arthur Carnes had nowhere to go,” Greene told the jury in his opening statement on Feb. 26, adding that “Arthur Carnes decided to take matters into his own hands.”
During his closing argument, Greene held up the 5-inch thick manifesto he said Carnes kept posted on his website until it was taken down with his arrest in 2008.
“Welcome to NBK 2000. Home of the Natural Born Killers of the 21st Century,” the manual began.
It said the NBK 2000 “mission” is “to spread the knowledge needed to fight the war against the ‘war on crime’” and accused politicians of “militarizing the police in preparation for dictatorship.”
It advocated “underground resistance” in defense of “our constitutional rights” through the uses of “assassination and murder and torture ...”
The manual mostly contained downloads from other sources on weapons, poisons, land mines, chemicals, communications, lockpicking, escape and “defensive driving.”
One section, written by Carnes, was entitled “Random Terror and Killing,” and dedicated to whomever committed the never-solved 1982 Tylenol killings in Chicago and to Unabomber and mass murderer Ted Kaczynski.
News-Sentinel staff contributed to this report.