Judge Upholds Restraining Order Against Leading Nativist

A superior court in Arizona has ruled that Chris Simcox, the disgraced former head of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC), must continue to maintain distance from his estranged wife Alena and their children. In recent years, MCDC was one of the most important of the country’s anti-immigration extremist groups, but the organization has been considerably weakened of late.

“The court finds that conflicting testimony has been presented on every allegation and the court must make a determination of credibility,” The Washington Times quotes Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner J. Justin McGuire as writing in his decision. “The court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that there is reasonable cause to believe that the defendant has committed an act of domestic violence within the last year. The court further finds that good cause exists to continue the order of protection in this case.”

The decision continues the case that began last spring when, as Hatewatch reported at the time, Alena Lyras Simcox accused Simcox of threatening her and their children with loaded handguns on two occasions in late 2009. According to her testimony, Simcox also threatened to shoot police if his wife called them to their home in Scottsdale, Ariz. Although Simcox denied the allegations, in April a Phoenix judge ordered Simcox to move out of the Scottsdale house, surrender his guns and maintain a distance of at least 200 yards from his family. The following month, we described how Simcox had taken to pleading with his remaining followers for support.

As the Southern Poverty Law Center noted in 2005, this latest legal tussle is part of a long history of alleged domestic abuse. Simcox’s first wife accused him of attempting to molest their teenage daughter. His second wife filed a successful emergency motion to obtain full custody of their teenage son because she thought Simcox had “suffered a mental breakdown and was dangerous.”

Some things, it seems, never change.