‘Acting with clear mind’: Bucks County man accused of beheading father purchased a gun just the day before

According to authorities, Justin Mohn surrendered his medical marijuana card to become a gun owner, showing that he was “aware of his actions and proud of his consequences.”

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Bucks County District Attorney Jennifer Schorn speaks at a podium

Bucks County District Attorney Jennifer Schorn said Justin Mohn used a knife and a machete to behead his father and sever his spinal chord. (Kenny Cooper/WHYY)

The Bucks County man alleged to have beheaded his father bought a gun in Bristol Township a day before committing the act, officials said Friday.

Justin Mohn, 32, relinquished his medical marijuana license to be an eligible gun owner.

“I can state with the evidence we have gathered thus far, this individual was acting with clear mind, aware of his actions and proud of his consequences,” Bucks County District Attorney Jennifer Schorn said at Friday’s press conference in Doylestown.

Schorn said an autopsy revealed Justin Mohn shot Michael Mohn, 68, once in the head shortly before decapitating him.

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“The mechanism was the use of a knife to sever limbs and tendons and then ultimately a machete to sever the spinal column,” Schorn said.

Light on details, Schorn reiterated her belief that it is clear Mohn was aware of what he was doing and cannot use insanity as a defense.

“Obviously as mentioned, this is still very much an ongoing investigation and this probe will take months not days, but we do know that there was some communication on Discord,” Schorn said.

The case gained national notoriety after Justin Mohn brandished his father’s severed head on YouTube. In Mohn’s far-right tirade, he called his father a “traitor” and demanded violence be inflicted upon all federal employees.” Schorn said the video had already garnered about 5,000 views before her office discovered it. YouTube has received criticism for its failure to remove the graphic video promptly. Schorn echoed that sentiment.

“That was incredibly concerning,” Schorn said. “Obviously from the evidentiary value, that video is very important and we needed to have possession of that but it’s quite horrifying how many views we understand it had before it was taken down. Obviously we were able to capture and secure that video because it’s self-explanatory as to who’s responsible.”

According to authorities, Mohn, a graduate of Neshaminy High School and Penn State University, had no history of diagnosed mental health issues or illnesses.

Middletown Police Chief Joseph Bartorilla said his department has had three “contacts” with Mohn since 2011. One stemmed from an argument he had in his family’s driveway, which was resolved.

In 2019, Mohn reported he received a threat from an insurance company employee based in Ohio. Mohn told police he just wanted a record of it.

“Last year, we did not have contact with Justin, but his employer from Philadelphia called one of our officers and just expressed concern about Justin’s behavior at work and wanted legal advice on how to go about terminating his employment,” Bartorilla said.

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Middletown Police Chief Joseph Bartorilla speaks at a podium
Middletown Police Chief Joseph Bartorilla said since 2011, his department has had three direct and indirect encounters with Justin Mohn. (Kenny Cooper/WHYY)

He said the concern stemmed from “novels” Mohn was writing and that an officer recommended the employer seek legal resources.

Mohn, who was apprehended at a National Guard facility in the hours after his father was murdered, told authorities that he went to Fort Indiantown Gap to mobilize the Pennsylvania National Guard against the federal government.

“He also indicated that he wanted to speak to Governor [Josh] Shapiro to join forces,” Schorn said.

Michael Mohn’s body and severed head was discovered by his wife, Denice Mohn. Bartorilla underscored the need for support that the family requires.

“Me and my entire police department, our hearts ache for the Mohn family,” she said. “I know we had a meeting with them last night at our Police Headquarters with victims advocacy, and I just want to let everyone know that we will be with them every step of the way through this incredible ordeal that they’re going through.”

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