Wednesday, January 5, 2011
By Natasha Korecki Federal Courts Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org Jan 4, 2011 06:59PM
In closing remarks at the trial of White Supremacist William White Tuesday, the lead prosecutor in the case conjured the murders of a Chicago judge’s family, then called White a “ghoul.”
The defense accused prosecutors of trying to inject emotion into the trial.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William Hogan detailed how White reacted in 2005 when he heard U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow found her husband and mother murdered.
“Good for them! Was my first thought,” White wrote in an online posting to his hate website overthrow.com.
“Everyone involved in the (white supremacist Matthew) Hale trial has deserved assassination for a long time.”
After reading the entry, Hogan pointed at White in disgust.
“This ghoul sitting over here is washing his hands in Lefkow family blood,” Hogan said.
White, of Roanoke, Va., is on trial for posting personal information in 2008 on the same website about the foreperson who deliberated in Hale’s trial.
Hale was convicted of ordering the head of his security to kill Lefkow. That man was an FBI informant. Hale is now serving a 40-year sentence. A disgruntled litigant not tied to a hate group carried out the Lefkow slayings.
Prosecutors said White posted the juror’s information targeting “the susceptible ones, the stupid ones, the crazy ones” hoping someone would do harm to the juror.
“You don’t get to solicit murder and have it protected by the First Amendment,” Hogan said.
Defense lawyer Nishay Shanan said White has every right to post the information, that it was all public information and that White never asked anyone to harm the juror.
Shanan said it amounted to nothing more than harassment.
“Like it or not, the First Amendment protects that speech,” Shanan said.
“You can’t take protected free speech and suddenly make it a crime.”
White once posted similar information about the Miami Herald’s syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts, an FBI agent testified.
White ripped one of Pitts’ columns, called him a racial slur, then posted his personal information online.
The Pulitzer-prize winning columnist testified in a separate trial involving White in 2009.
White was eventually convicted on four counts. He was acquitted of three other counts in that trial, including the Pitts count.
Prosecutors called two former members of White’s group to testify about their involvement in White’s group, the American National Socialist Workers Party.
Each allegedly received letters from White after he was arrested with instructions on how they should testify before a grand jury, asserting that the website did not encourage criminal activity.
Michael Burks of Louisville, Ky., disagreed. He testified he interpreted some of White’s postings as invitations to do harm to others.
“I don’t know any other definition of ‘kill,’” Burks said, referring to one of White’s postings.
“When you give out his address and tell ‘em: ‘Kill this bastard,’ I don’t know what else it could mean.”
A federal jury in Chicago took only a few hours to convict Roanoke Neo-Nazi Bill White on a charge related to threatening the former jury foreman.
No sentencing date has been set.
White's attorney, Nishay Sanan, said his next move will be to petition a judge to have a bond hearing on either January 18th or a few days afterward.
White will have served all the prison time required after his Roanoke convictions in late December 2009.
With the exception of a few days when White was released on bond in the late summer of 2009, White has been in prison since October 2008.
While White could receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, Sanan expects federal prosecutors to ask for at least three years.
Sanan said he will argue at sentencing that White's time served should count toward his Chicago punishment.
Federal prosecutors said they believe White is exactly where he belongs--- in prison, and they intend to keep him there.
Prosecutors said two letters White wrote from Roanoke City Jail a few days after his initial incarceration helped prove their case.
White wrote to members of his American National Socialist Workers' Party, or ANSWP, urging them to reach out to the group's Chicago connections to make sure no one hurt the former jury foreman.
Prosecutors said the letters were proof White knew someone could act out on a post he wrote on his former website, overthrow.com, which prosecutors said essentially encouraged readers to harm the juror, the victim in this case.