Klan Trial to Begin Tomorrow in Kentucky

Brandenburg, Ky. — Trial is scheduled to start tomorrow in the case of a teenager who was beaten by Klansmen at a county fair in rural Kentucky.

The Southern Poverty Law Center sued the head of one of the nation’s largest Klan groups, the Imperial Klans of America (IKA), alleging that members of the group assaulted and severely injured 16-year-old Jordan Gruver during a 2006 recruiting drive at the Meade County Fairgrounds. The civil lawsuit contends that Gruver, a U.S.-born citizen of Panamanian descent, was targeted because the Klansmen thought he was “an illegal spic.”

The case aims to hold IKA leader Ron Edwards accountable for the attack that was perpetrated by members of his group. The SPLC hopes to win a verdict large enough to shut down the organization, which has 16 chapters in eight states. Also named as a defendant is Jarred R. Hensley, one of two Klansmen convicted of assault in criminal court for his attack on Gruver.

We will post daily dispatches as the trial unfolds this week in Meade Circuit Court.