For a cool million bucks – cash – Craig Cobb, the not-so-white white supremacist, can ring in the New Year without handcuffs or shackles.
Since his arrest on Nov. 16 for terrorizing the tiny North Dakota town of Leith that he hoped to turn into an all-Aryan enclave, Cobb has been locked up without bond in the Mercer County Jail in Stanton, N.D.
His only glimpses of freedom have been his trips to court or to a psych ward where he was sent for a few days after refusing to eat, the first step on what he described as a spiritual journey that would end in his death.
The journey didn’t last long. Cobb ended his hunger strike and was returned to jail, still without bond.
But on Friday, after the North Dakota Supreme Court issued a Christmas Eve order that the 62-year-old neo-Nazi was entitled to a “reasonable” bond, a North Dakota district court judge set the price of Cobb’s semi-freedom at $1 million cash.
The judge, Cynthia Feland, said she set the bond so high, according to the Bismarck Tribune, because she was concerned about public safety and the fact that Cobb had fled Canada to avoid criminal hate crime charges.
“Where do I pay the $1 million?” Cobb asked Feland and then leaned back with a wide grin, according to the Tribune.
The judge said the money would have to be deposited with the clerk of court. Cobb would also have to agree to wear a tracking device and not to have any contact with the seven people he allegedly terrorized as he and his racist roommate, Kynan Dutton, marched through the streets of Leith, carrying rifles and dropping F-bombs on Nov. 16.
Cobb called his armed-walkabout a safety “patrol.”
The men were arrested later that day and have been in jail ever since.
“Cobb is still here,” a dispatcher told Hatewatch this morning.
Dutton was granted a $50,000 bond, but “He’s still here, too,” the dispatcher said.
Another condition Cobb must agree to if he comes up with the $1 million is not to leave the state without permission. Cobb told The Associated Press in late November that in exchange for the charges against him being dropped, he would be willing to sell his house in Leith – the capital of his white homeland – and leave the state.
“And I’ll never come back to North Dakota,” he said.
He may never leave is more likely. Cobb faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted of the seven counts of terrorizing he has been charged with.
In the meantime, it looks like Cobb will have a quiet New Year’s Eve.
Lockdown and lights out are at 11 p.m. at the Mercer County Jail.