SAN ANTONIO – The mother of a murdered Bexar County jail inmate is upset over her son's portrayal as a former member of a white supremacist gang.
Alexander Wise was found in his cell in the maximum security area of the jail Thursday afternoon with blunt force injuries. Though the medical team responded to the scene, Wise was pronounced dead about 20 minutes later.
Wise's cellmate, Shandrick Buckley, is facing a capital murder charge.
In a Thursday news conference, Sheriff Javier Salazar said Wise was "believed" to be a former member of the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist gang. However, his mother, Wanda Wise, says that's not the case.
Wise said she had only had sporadic contact with her son since he moved to San Antonio a few years ago. While she stated her son was "no angel" and that he took drugs and stole, Wise did not believe her son had ever been part of the gang. She said he did have a tattoo of a Nazi symbol but it was meant to be in opposition, not support.
"It was a swastika, and he had a big red bar running through it to say 'No,'" she said.
KSAT found a photo posted to Facebook in January 2016 that appeared to show a tattoo on Alexander Wise's chest that closely matched his mother's description, though it was unclear what color the bar across the swastika was. A second photo from March 2016 appears to show the same tattoo incorporated into a larger design.
KSAT is not posting the images due to the offensive nature of the swastika.
Wanda Wise did say her son had told her before that sometimes inmates had to link up with groups while locked up, but she did not know if he ever had.
Wise believes it may have been that tattoo that got her son classified as a former gang member. A Bexar County Sheriff's Office spokesman said Saturday that jail staff had documented Alexander Wise's gang affiliation based on information gathered from his intake interview.
In any case, Wanda Wise does not believe her son should have been put in the same cell with Buckley. Whereas Wise's charges included fraudulent use of identification, credit card abuse, theft and possession of a controlled substance, Buckley was in jail on a murder charge.
"Here's a white boy with the Nazi emblems, you know?" she said. "And who wears Nazi emblems: the neo-Nazis, the skinheads, the Aryan race. You know, they go by half a dozen different names. But, and then you stick them in with a volatile, black man. You know, you would almost expect a clash wouldn't you?"
Salazar said Wise had been moved into the cell with Buckley in that area of the jail after he had been involved in a violent disturbance with other inmates earlier that day. Apart from his murder charge, Buckley had assaulted a deputy a few days earlier, Salazar said.
However, the sheriff said nothing showed up that indicated they would be incompatible as cellmates. The fact that Wise was listed as a former gang member was probably what allowed him to be placed in that area, Salazar said.
"There's only so much we can do with people that have a violent history or an organized crime history," Salazar said. "There's only so many places we can put them in this jail."
Salazar said Thursday that Buckley would be moved to solitary confinement in the most secure portion of the jail.