VENTURA, Calif. - A white supremacist gang member accused of stabbing to death a 17-year-old girl said he witnessed the killing and confessed to authorities in order to ''take the fall'' for his friends, it was reported Sunday.
In a jailhouse interview Saturday with the Ventura County Star, David Ziesmer refused to state whether he killed Nicole Hendrix.
''I will tell you that I was there,'' he said.
Authorities contend the girl, a chronic runaway with drug problems, was kidnapped, robbed and stabbed to death in October 1998 at a local motel room.
Ziesmer, 27, of Oxnard, is one of three people indicted last week on murder, robbery and other charges. Three others were indicted for related crimes, including trying to cover up the girl's killing.
Her skeletal remains were later discovered in a ravine near Pine Mountain.
Ziesmer said he knows he made a mistake when he confessed to authorities but still hopes he will ''be able to get out of this mess.''
''I stepped up and took the fall for everybody, which I shouldn't have done,'' he said. ''Everybody involved in this was pointing the finger at me.''
Ziesmer, whose many tattoos include has swastikas on his earlobes and the words ''Racial Loyalty'' on his face, is a member of a Ventura County skinhead gang whose members have been arrested for crimes ranging from rape to murder.
Ziesmer's mother, Linda Ziesmer, told the newspaper that she believes her son is innocent.
''I know he didn't do it,'' she said. ''He's always told me everything. If David did it, I would say, David, admit it.''
Ziesmer, Michael Gene Bridgeford, 24, of Oxnard, and Bridget Marie Callahan, 28, of Ventura, are charged with murder, kidnapping and robbery.
Ziesmer also was indicted on three additional counts, including trying to cover up the girl's killing, soliciting murder - reportedly of witnesses in the case - and being an active member of a street gang.
Callahan and Bridgeford also were indicted for committing murder to benefit a street gang.
Indicted for perjury, conspiracy to conceal evidence and being an accessory to murder were James Daniel Bowman, 21, and Roy Ashlock, 28, both of Ventura, and Kellie Rangel, 30, of Camarillo.