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The Blotter: Winter 2010

Updates on Extremism and the Law

July 8
A reputed American Nazi Party recruit was convicted of first-degree murder and attempted robbery in Colorado Springs, Colo., in the shooting last year of a mother of four during a botched armed robbery. Kandin Eric Wilson faces life in prison with no possibility of parole.

July 19
Neo-Nazi Michael Parrish pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the 2009 slayings of his live-in girlfriend and their 2-year-old son. Parrish was a corrections officer in Pennsylvania’s Monroe County and, secretly, a probationary member of the ultra-violent Vinlanders Social Club. His apartment was filled with Nazi memorabilia, including photos and DVDs depicting Adolf Hitler.

July 31
A reputed antigovernment extremist was arrested and charged with killing a lawyer at a shooting range in Cumberland County, Pa. Authorities suspect that prison guard Raymond Franklin Peake stole the dead man’s rifle as part of an effort to provide weapons to an unnamed organization intent on overthrowing the U.S. government. Seven shotguns, five rifles and three handguns were found in Peake’s home.

Aug. 3
The former Western Pennsylvania leader of the neo-Nazi World Church of the Creator (since renamed The Creativity Movement) was sentenced in Pittsburgh to 30 months in federal prison for illegally keeping 10 firearms in his home. Hardy Lloyd had served almost two years in prison after being convicted for illegal possession of the firearm he used to shoot Lori Hann, his reputed girlfriend, in 2004. (He was acquitted of murder charges.) After his release and while on parole, he posted remarks including, “I shot that b---- in Squirrel Hill, just to watch her die.”

Aug. 16
The South Carolina Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of antigovernment extremist Steven Bixby for the 2003 murder of two law enforcement officers in Abbeville. Bixby and his father, Arthur, engaged in a 14-hour shootout at their home because they were enraged that a road-widening project was taking a narrow strip of their front lawn. Bixby’s mother, Rita, 78, is serving a life sentence for aiding in the crime. A judge has ruled that Arthur Bixby isn’t competent to stand trial.

Aug. 16
Vincent McGee, the African-American man charged with killing the leader of the racist skinhead group known as the Nationalist Movement, pleaded not guilty to capital murder and arson in Rankin County, Miss. McGee reportedly told police that he stabbed Richard Barrett to death and then set fire to his body in Barrett’s home after Barrett allegedly asked him to perform oral sex. McGee also reportedly said that he and Barrett had argued over pay for yard work. McGee’s trial was set for Feb. 14.

Aug. 23
A federal judge in Ocala, Fla., overruled a U.S. marshal who instructed convicted tax defier and actor Wesley Snipes to report to prison by Sept. 2, saying Snipes could remain free pending his request for a new trial. Snipes was convicted in 2008 of three misdemeanor counts of failing to file tax returns and sentenced to three years in prison. His trial made clear that he had adopted ideas of the “sovereign citizens” movement, whose adherents don’t believe they have to pay taxes. At one point, Snipes called himself “a non-resident alien” — classic sovereign terminology.

Aug. 25
Zachary Beck, a former member of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations, was arrested with another man and charged in a racially motivated attack on an African-American man inside a Vancouver, Wash., bar. Beck was well known among white supremacists in 2003, when he lived with the late Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler in Hayden, Idaho, and unsuccessfully ran for City Council there. Beck spent Election Day in jail after being arrested for punching a Latino man in the face.

Sept. 17
Cyndi Steele, wife of one-time Aryan Nations attorney and anti-Semitic essayist Edgar J. Steele, wrote to friends asking for money to aid in her husband’s defense against charges in a murder-for-hire scheme. The intended victims: Cyndi Steele and her mother. She hopes to raise $250,000. She said her husband is a “political prisoner of the USA.” At a press conference, Cyndi Steele added, “Ed loves me. I love him.” Edgar Steele remained in jail in Spokane, Wash., awaiting trial.