Vincent McGee, 22, wore a bullet-proof vest during his appearance before Judge Kent McDaniel in Rankin County, The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson reported. Investigators allege McGee beat and stabbed Richard Barrett last Wednesday and then returned the next day and set Barrett's house on fire.
"Because of the nature of this crime, I'm not going to waste discussion of bond," McDaniel said.
Jackson's WLBT-TV, citing sources, reported McGee, who is black, allegedly confessed to police he did not realize Barrett was a white supremacist. McGee said he became furious when Barrett propositioned him.
Barrett, who published a monthly newsletter, had a long history of racial organizing. In a 1982 book, he advocated stripping most non-Europeans and Jews of U.S. citizenship and forcing them to leave the country.
Two co-defendants charged as accessories after the fact also appeared in court, The Clarion-Ledger said. McDaniel denied bail to Michael Dent, who is also charged with arson. Like McGee, Dent is on probation after early release from prison.
Bail was set at $5,000 for Dent's mother, Vickie, 38.