Ex-NFL Player Charged in NJ Murder

The Associated Press/March 23, 1999
By Amy Westfeldt

NEWARK, N.J. -- A former National Football League player who admitted to killing seven people in Florida with a black supremacist cult was charged Tuesday with the 1984 sacrificial slaying of a homeless white man.

Robert Rozier, 43, is the second person to be charged with the slaying of Attilio Cicala, who was found stabbed eight times in the chest and abdomen outside the cult's temple in Newark in 1984.

Prosecutors said they believed cult members offered Cicala up as a sacrifice a few days before the cult's leader was to visit Newark.

Rozier, who also called himself Neariah Israel, or "Child of God," was the leader of the Yahweh Ben Yahweh Temple in Newark at the time of the killing, prosecutor Patricia A. Hurt said. The temple no longer exists.

Yahweh Ben Yahweh, which means "God the Son of God" in Hebrew, is a Black Israelite sect that believes blacks are the lost tribe of Israel and the true Jews and that white people are devils.

Rozier, who currently lives in Cameron Park, Calif., joined the cult in the 1980s, after briefly playing as a lineman for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1979.

He was convicted of committing four murders under the orders of the Yahweh cult.

He later admitted to seven killings and was sentenced to 22 years in prison, but was released after 10 years in 1996, after testifying as a star prosecution witness against Yahweh and other followers.

Yahweh Ben Yahweh, also known as Hulon Mitchell Jr., and six others were convicted in 1992 of conspiracy for ordering 14 killings of white people and resistant black disciples.

Rozier is jailed in California on $1 million bail for the Newark murder charge.

Ray Weiss, a spokesman for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, said he didn't know when Rozier would appear for an arraignment in New Jersey.

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