The Blotter: Spring 2009
Updates on Extremism and the Law
Kevin J. Morse was convicted for the second time in a decade for income tax evasion and sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. The Austin, Minn., man's attorney argued that Morse was influenced by the Freedom and Privacy Committee, a notorious tax-protest operation. Morse filed false returns for five consecutive years and owed more than $120,000 in taxes, the judge said.
A member of the white supremacist prison gang Aryan Circle was convicted in Waco, Texas, of capital murder in the killing of a woman he believed was a law enforcement informant. Robert Allen Byrd slashed the woman's throat and stomped on her face, his ex-wife testified. He received a life sentence without parole.
Some 61 members of the Southern California-based Mongols biker gang were arrested for crimes including racketeering, murder, drug trafficking and money laundering. Much of the violence was directed at the rival Hells Angels motorcycle gang, but some was motivated by race, according to the 86-count indictment. In one incident, three Mongols beat a black man while shouting racial slurs, and in another, they stabbed a Latina they saw in the company of a black man, the indictment said.
Two self-proclaimed white supremacists were each sentenced to six years in prison for the anti-Latino beating of a man in Seal Beach, Calif., who mentioned that he was half Salvadoran. Ryan Joseph Swanson and Nicholas Tyler Gibbs punched the victim, Ryan Honeycutt, until he was unconscious, then stomped him.
A San Antonio, Texas, judge sentenced Aryan Brotherhood prison gang member Michael McCallum to 18 years in prison for beating to death a man he met at a gas station after the two had an argument about membership in white supremacist prison gangs. Security was heightened during McCallum's trial after a swastika was discovered on a prosecutor's car window.
Jonathan Edward Stone and Michael Corey Golden pleaded guilty in federal court to firebombing a storefront mosque south of Nashville, Tenn. Charges were pending against a third defendant in the anti-Muslim attack. The men spray-painted the words "White Power" on the mosque before setting it ablaze with Molotov cocktails.
The FBI added Edward Eugene Harper, a former member of the antigovernment "Patriot" group Montana Freemen, to its "Ten Most Wanted" list. In 1994, Harper failed to appear for a court hearing in DeSoto County, Miss., where he had been charged with sexually molesting two girls, ages 3 and 8, and has been a fugitive ever since. The former truck driver, now 62, has worked as a ranch hand in Montana and Wyoming, and authorities say he may have returned to that region. A $100,000 reward has been offered by the FBI for information leading to his arrest.
An Ecuadorean immigrant walking home arm-in-arm with his brother in Brooklyn, N.Y., was beaten to death by three men shouting anti-gay and anti-Latino slurs. One of the attackers hit Jose Sucuzhanay, 31, over the head with a bottle, and another beat him with an aluminum baseball bat. Sucuzhanay had lived in the United States for about a decade, was a legal resident and co-owned a real estate business.
A judge ruled there was sufficient evidence to hold a Torrance, Calif., man for trial on a felony anti-gay hate crime assault charge and a misdemeanor charge of interfering with civil rights after he allegedly pummeled a man using a "Yes on Prop. 8" yard sign. The assault occurred a little more than a week before the controversial amendment banning same-sex marriage was approved by California voters. The victim, who was wearing a "No on Prop. 8" button, said Joseph Storm attacked him with the yard sign and his fists and choked him while shouting anti-gay epithets.
Marionville, Mo., police officer Andy Clark sued the estate of Jesse Miller, the man who on March 28 murdered a Good Samaritan who pulled over to help him after a traffic accident and then shot Clark in the shoulder. Despite his wound, Clark then shot and killed Miller, 30, who was the son of Glenn Miller, 67, a well-known white supremacist who led the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan that later became the now-defunct White Patriot Party.