News Roundup for July 18, 2011

A Texas white supremacist responsible for an anti-Muslim shooting spree faces execution on Wednesday. Mark Stroman, 41, is currently on death row for a series of revenge attacks in the days after the 9/11 terror attacks that killed two South Asian men and wounded another. The surviving victim, a Bangladeshi Muslim, is asking for Storman’s sentence to be commuted to life in prison.

One of the defendants convicted for the murder of an Arizona man and his daughter has been sentenced to life in prison. Albert Gaxiola, along with two others, entered the home of Junior Flores pretending to be Border Patrol agents and shot Flores, his wife (who survived), and their daughter Brisenia. Two of the defendants have received the death penalty, but the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on a death sentence for Gaxiola.

A member of the Hutaree Militia has been deemed unfit for trial due to mental problems. Jacob Ward, 34, has been indicted, along with nine others, for an antigovernment plot to kill police officers. Judge Victoria Roberts stated that Ward suffers from a mental defect, and is unable to understand the charges he faces.

The hunt for a militia leader has been temporarily halted after the suspect disappeared into the Montana woods. David Burgert, 47, a former Marine and the leader of the Project 7 militia was released in 2010 after eight years in prison for illegal firearms possession. Last June, Burgert led law enforcement on a chase, before shooting at the officers and fleeing into the woods. Local authorities plan to continue the search when new leads arise.

Police in Cherry Hill, N.J., have upgraded charges over a series of vandalisms against local Christian sites to a hate crime. In the course of a week, six cases of vandalism have taken place against Christian shrines, including one instance in which more than 30 statues were damaged at a church. Police are still searching for the suspect.