02-19-2017  8:05 pm      •     

CHICAGO (AP) -- A judge has ordered a White supremacist charged with threatening a Chicago juror to remain jailed after hearing how he used his computer to discuss killing Blacks and even aimed a veiled threat at President-elect Barack Obama.
William White, 31, of Roanoke, Va. stood impassively Friday as U.S. District Judge William Hibbler said he was upholding a previous decision by a Virginia judge to jail him without bond to "ensure the safety of the community."
The charges against White stemmed from his alleged posting of the name, photograph, address and phone numbers of the foreman of a jury that in 2004 found white supremacist Matt Hale guilty of soliciting the murder of the federal judge who presided over the trial.
But much of the hearing centered on other online postings of the self-proclaimed commander of the American National Socialist Workers' Party. Those postings included phrases like "kill, kill, kill," and the possibility that he might go on a "murderous rampage."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Ferrara also told Hibbler of an article that was posted on White's blog that included a photograph of Obama, a swastika, and concluded with the words, "He should not be allowed to take office by any means necessary."
"He's asking others and encouraging others to act in a violent manner," Ferrara told the judge, adding that in another posting, White asked people to go to Canada to kill an attorney in which he'd been having an online feud.
But White's attorney, Nishay Sanan, dismissed White's online postings as nothing more than "a means of venting political frustrations" and that he was never threatening anyone or asking anyone to do others harm. The one witness during the hearing was a forensic psychiatrist, who testified that he did not believe White posed a danger to himself, his family or the community.
Of the charges against White, Sanan said that White did not make any threat, veiled or explicit on his posting under the heading, "The Juror Who Convicted Matt Hale." Instead, he just posted the foreman's personal information.
"There's no information of intent to hurt Juror A and persuade others to harm Juror A," he said.
Not only that, he said, but it is significant that none of those who read White's blog ever planned to or tried to hurt the juror.
"They knew it was just posting and venting," he said.
In fact, he said, the charges had nothing to do with any perceived threats against the juror or anyone else, but were motivated solely to put White behind bars at the time of the presidential election.
In the same article, said Sanan, White wrote: "Nobody wants to kill him."
Sanan said he was not defending what White had written, but that he had a Constitutional right to express his views.
"It's pathetic the U.S. Attorney's office gets to decide what's protected free speech and what's not," he said after the hearing. "Nowhere in the Constitution does it say they have that right."
Sanan promised to appeal the judge's decision.
Ferrara declined to comment after the hearing.
A trial date was set for March 3.

 

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