The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Texas Jury Hears Account of Fatal Shooting by White Supremacist

By Marilyn Elias on April 5, 2012 - 4:20 pm, Posted in Christian Identity, Extremist Crime

By Friday, jurors are expected to begin weighing the evidence against a Texas murder suspect allegedly linked to Kingdom Identity Ministries, a racist, anti-Semitic group that opposes mixing of the races. Defendant Mark Simmons of Buda told an investigating officer that the victim, his friend  Steven Woelfel, deserved to die because he had a Mexican girlfriend, according to testimony in the Hays County trial.

Simmons contended that after years of the U.S. government spying on him, he was in a paranoid mental state at the time of the killing, according to the San Marcos Mercury. He testified that he accidentally shot the 55-year-old Woelfel in his friend’s home in April 2010 and let the body sit for a week before setting a fire that burned it beyond recognition. In addition to murder, he’s charged with arson and tampering with evidence.

A Texas ranger testified at the trial that when Simmons, 52, was arrested he had white supremacist literature in his possession, including the book Vigilantes of Christendom: The History of the Phineas Priesthood.  The book, said ranger Jimmy Schroeder, concerns a Biblical figure named Phineas, who apparently kills a mixed-race couple to win God’s favor.

Schroeder also said he found the words “avenger of blood,” apparently in Simmons’ handwriting, on charred paper in the garage — ostensibly a reference to the Phineas book. Schroeder said investigators also found information about cleaning a crime scene and disposing of a body in the garage.

Before his capture in June 2010, after weeks on the run, Simmons went to the home of Kingdom Identity Ministries founder Mike Hallimore, prosecutors said. Simmons claimed he visited Hallimore merely to annoy government agents who were spying on him from an aircraft.

Kingdom Identity Ministries, based in Harrison, Ark., is the largest supplier of materials related to Christian Identity, a radical-right theology that generally identifies people of color as soulless sub-humans and Jews as satanic or cursed by God. It churns out Identity Bible study courses, tracts and books, and teaches that Judgment Day will arrive in the form of a sanctified race war, a theory widely popular with prison-based racist gangs like the Aryan Brotherhood.

According to trial testimony, Simmons had once been interviewed by an

Arkansas investigator investigating Hallimore’s group after a pipe bomb was found at a church, and at that time Simmons allegedly said Woelfel deserved to die because he had a Mexican girlfriend.

Simmons denied having an affiliation with Kingdom Identity Ministries, telling the court that it doesn’t make sense, because he’s had intimate partners of difference races.

During the trial, Simmons railed about government aircraft spying on him and voiced his conviction that the U.S. government carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks to create a rationale for war in the Middle East.

In his defense, Simmons said Woelfel had knelt over and pulled out a 9 mm pistol from a duffel bag, waving it at him as if to show off the gun.  Simmons said he slapped the gun out of his friend’s hand, grabbed a nearby pistol and pointed it at his friend’s head. The bullet fired accidentally, he claimed, as he began to say, “How do you like it?” He said the gun, owned by Woelfel, had no safety.

But a medical examiner testified that the bullet passed from the top of Woelfel’s head into his spine, suggesting an execution-style killing.

Hays County District Attorney Sherry Tibbe told Hatewatch she was hopeful that the case would be sent to the jury by Friday. “We’re very comfortable with the evidence in this case and bringing it to trial.”

  • Shadow Wolf

    “Are you claiming your response to my first comment wasn’t hostile?”

    I didn’t make any “claims”. I pointed out that your usual “paraphrasing” is incorrect and possibly stereotypical. When I did this, your mind decided to think it’s a hostile response. Simply put it–does Mr. Simmon look the sort to have “black friends”? My guess is that he probably despises blacks more so than his friend’s Mexican girlfriend. So my response to you was to make that correction.

    “Where I come from,”

    I don’t care where you come from. I’m not on here as your friend…..pal.

    “And then you seemingly defending the guy,”

    Nope. I exposed your hypothetical notion of using “blacks” as your “paraphrasing” diddle about the man. That’s not defending the guy by any stretch. It’s pointing out how you like to use “blacks” as your form of colloquialism . In past threads, you were okay with the SPLC’s usage of “Black” to describe evil. While many others disagreed with you.

    Okay, so you’re claiming to be for immigration reform. And you are now making it clear that you don’t support pro-open borders agenda. Then what precisely do you disagree with me on??? Seriously, my position isn’t any different from most Moderates/Democrats.
    I don’t think little ruben is gonna be to happy with your declaration on that.

  • Aron


    Are you claiming your response to my first comment wasn’t hostile? Where I come from, when you call somebody ‘pal,’ it’s definitely a pejorative. And then you seemingly defended the guy because he killed the ‘race traitor’ for waving the gun in his face.

    And for the record, I’m hardly a supporter of ‘open borders.’ What I support is reform of the entire immigration process. Why should it take years and years and thousands upon thousands of dollars just to obtain a green card? Not everyone is wealthy enough to afford one of those ‘investors’ green cards.

  • Reynardine

    My morning-bleary eyes, reading a list of your past articles, parsed one as, “God hates eggs”. I could only think… “He’s God! Can’t he just decree some flapjacks or something?” But seriously, happy Easter tomorrow, folks. It’d be a terrible day for God to hate eggs.

  • Reynardine

    Wolf, in many instances I value your input, but at this point and certain others, you have been manifestly chippish.

  • Shadow Wolf

    “I’m starting to see what Ruben has against you…..”

    Poor ruben hates the fact that I’m “against” ILLEGAL immigration. He hates the fact that I support and supported Obama’s Immigration policies. Which you called a “nativist” stance in previous threads. And he actually yet, inanely thinks I’m a “hypocrite” in that regard I don’t hide my views on Immigration, nor do I deny them. Sure pal, anyone who harbors an “open-borders” position (such as yourself), would disagree my position on Immigration matters, and see this as a “nativist” and racist post.
    As I stated before, if Obama is for the pro-securing of the southern borders and the enforcement of *Federal* Immigration laws, then you might as well call him and everyone else who is not a Republican , a “nativist”.

    Otherwise, what other valid reason does he(or you for that matter) have “against” me. Read my posts in here, if there is any indication that I am “hostile” towards you. In case point, I have been posting in the SPLC threads for years now, starting with my name/moniker: GENO.

  • Reynardine

    A man with this attitude uses outgroup women for sex, sometimes forcibly, exactly because he doesn’t regard them as fully human, or even because having sex with them is a way of expressing contempt. That certainly does not mean “some of his best friends are…” “F*** you” is neither a proposition nor an expression of affection, and this man’s conduct with minority women was nothing more than “f*** you” carried into action.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Jason, the problem is that a LOT of “white advocates” sound like lone, mentally ill individuals. This makes them hard to tell apart.

    Also, whites don’t need civil rights organizations. Every available statistic shows that whites are on top of society in the US. That is not to say that all “whites” have it good, but the people at the top are nearly all white.

  • Aron

    Shadow Wolf,

    He stated that he couldn’t possibly be racist because he had ‘intimate partners’ of other races. I was using something called ‘paraphrasing.’ Perhaps you’re familiar with it?

    Also, what the heck is with your hostility? What have ever said against you? And I have a name. I’m not simply a ‘poster.’

    I’m starting to see what Ruben has against you…

  • Shadow Wolf

    What exactly did I ‘missed”? The comment by the first poster’s gives no indication that Simmons had “black friends” nor did he cite any sources that Simmons had “black friends” or even the fact that Simmons was denying his virulent racist views. They discovered violent racist literature in his possessions.

    Again, what did I “missed”?

  • CriticalDragon1177

    Marilyn Elias,

    Another innocent person loses his life because of someone else’s irrational hatred.

  • Jason

    And you missed the following Shadow Wolf;

    “Defendant Mark Simmons of Buda told an investigating officer that the victim, his friend Steven Woelfel, deserved to die because he had a Mexican girlfriend, according to testimony in the Hays County trial.”

    “But a medical examiner testified that the bullet passed from the top of Woelfel’s head into his spine, suggesting an execution-style killing.”

    And, of course, there were the pieces “nice” literature that Simmons was reading.

  • Shadow Wolf

    “I’m so bleeding tired of that pathetic excuse. I really wish it would go away.”

    Read the article, pal. Simmons didn’t cite that as an “excuse”. He stated that his race-mixing, race traitor buddy was waving a gun in around in his face, when he smacked it away from his hand.
    Not to mentioned that the white supremacist killer was delusionally paranoid at the time of his racist murder.

  • Jason

    These are the fruits of hatred. He destroyed his friend and his own life. I have no sympathy for the low life hate monger.

  • Aron

    ‘How can I be racist? I have black friends! The fact that they act like white folks is of no consequence!’

    I’m so bleeding tired of that pathetic excuse. I really wish it would go away.