Klan Leader Incompetent to Face Murder Trial

Charles Robert "Junior" Barefoot Jr., the leader of a North Carolina Ku Klux Klan group that plotted to blow up the local sheriff's office in 2001, has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial for ordering the murder of a fellow Klansman.

After reviewing a psychologist's evaluation, a Sampson County Superior Court judge ruled at a hearing last December that Barefoot, 45, was "not competent to stand trial because he currently does not possess a rational understanding of the proceedings against him." Barefoot represented himself at the hearing, which was held to determine if a trial for murder and conspiracy could go ahead.

The judge ordered Barefoot committed indefinitely to Dorothea Dix Hospital in order "to determine whether there is a substantial probability that his competency will be restored in the foreseeable future."

Since 2003, Barefoot has faced two trials — one in state court on murder charges and one in a federal court for alleged gunrunning. Barefoot has done his part to gum up the wheels of justice by filing more than 100 bizarre motions from prison, all of them based upon "redemption" theory, a financial conspiracy theory popular with right-wing extremists. Redemptionists hold that every U.S. citizen has a "straw man," or secret, legal twin, created by the government to capture the economic value of citizens who they say have unknowingly been sold into slavery to a Jewish-run international banking cabal.

Writing from his jail cell prior to being committed to a mental institution, Barefoot repeatedly warned reporters and court officials not to print his name in any articles or court documents because it was copyrighted — another bizarre yet common redemptionist gambit.

In a further weird twist to an already strange case, a double-wide mobile home owned and previously occupied by Barefoot in Dunn, N.C., was destroyed by a suspicious fire Jan. 28.

"When I got home, ammunition was exploding everywhere and flames were shooting through the roof of his house," one neighbor told the local newspaper, The Daily Record. "There were bullets going off, shotgun shells exploding and popping everywhere."

The cause of the fire had not been determined at press time.