Jury Convicts White Patriot Party Leader
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ A federal jury Friday convicted White Patriot Party leader F. Glenn Miller Jr. and his second-in-command of operating a paramilitary organization in violation of a federal court consent decree.
A former Klansman testified during the trial, which began Monday, that the group held frequent training sessions on firearms and hand-to-hand combat.
The jury began its six hours of deliberations Friday morning, finding Miller guilty of two counts of contempt of court for violating the consent decree.
Co-defendant Stephen Miller, who is not related to Glenn Miller, was convicted of one count.
The consent order signed in January 1985 settled a class-action civil lawsuit filed on behalf of North Carolina blacks against the White Patriot Party, then known as the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The lawsuit alleged that the group was harassing blacks.
About a dozen White Patriot Party supporters were in court when the verdict was read. One woman hid her face in her hands.
At the request of the defense lawyer, the jury of 11 whites and one black was polled and affirmed the verdicts.
U.S. District Court Judge Earl Britt set bond at $10,000 each and scheduled sentencing for Sept. 8 in U.S. District Court in Fayetteville. The Millers, who were freed after posting bond, face up to six months’ imprisonment and a $1,000 fine on each count.
Former Klansman James E. Holder testified about the frequent training sessions and said the goal of the Carolina Knights was to overthrow the United States government.
Active-duty military personnel from Fort Bragg, an Army base near Fayetteville, and Camp Lejeune Marine Base near Jacksonville participated in some of the exercises and assisted in the training, Holder said.
Members of the Carolina Knights believed they would form their own racist state in the southern United States in 1991, Holder testified.
An ex-Marine, Robert N. Jones, testified that he was paid $50,000 for supplying the group with sophisticated arms and ammunition stolen from military installations, including semi-automatic weapons, grenades, anti-tank missiles and mines.
A lawyer for Glenn Miller told the jury that Miller and his followers did not intend to overthrow the government, but anticipated an attempt to do so by communist forces and wanted to be ready to defend their families.
Gordon Ipock of Vanceboro, a spokesman for the White Patriot Party, said the verdicts came as no surprise.
″It is a long, hard struggle we’re in,″ he said. ″The public - at least the white public - should realize ... that we are not the oppressors. We are the oppressed.″