Neo-Nazi Security Chief Sentenced

Aryan Nations

The security chief of Aryan Nations has been sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the assault of a woman and her son outside the neo-Nazi group's Idaho compound. Jesse Edward Warfield avoided trial by pleading guilty to a reduced charge of aiding and abetting an aggravated assault, but was sentenced stiffly nonetheless.

Warfield claimed that he and other guards assaulted Virginia Keenan and her son Jason in July 1998 because they thought the Keenans had fired weapons into the compound. But the Keenans said that their car had backfired while stopped on the road in front of the compound, and detectives could find no evidence of their firing any shots.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, representing the Keenans, filed a civil suit in January against Aryan Nations, its leader Richard Butler, Warfield and other security guards. The Center suit alleges that Butler's guards shot at the two plaintiffs, chased them and forced their car into a ditch, and battered and threatened to kill them.

No trial date in the civil suit has been set.