Advertisement

Judge directs acquittal of one supremacist defendant

FORT SMITH, Ark. -- U.S. District Judge Morris Arnold Friday directed a verdict of acquittal for one of the defendants in the trial of alleged white supremacists accused of seditious conspiracy and plotting to assassinate federal officials.

The judge directed the verdict in favor of Robert N. Smalley, 32, a native of Corona, Calif., and a Fort Smith resident, saying there was not enough evidence to convict him.

Advertisement

Smalley was among 10 men accused of scheming to overthrow the government and replacing it with an Aryan Nation in the Pacific northwest. One of the 10 and four others are on trial for conspiring to assassinate a federal judge and an FBI agent in Arkansas. Two of them also are charged with interstate transportation of stolen money.

The prosecution had said Randall Rader, 36, a former member of white supremacist group known as The Order, had ordered illegal weapons through Smalley and told Smalley they were for a right-wing group. The judge said the prosecution did not show Smalley had reason to believe the weapons would be used to try to overthrow the government.

'It's not possible that a jury could find beyond a reasonable doubt that Robert Smalley was part of any alleged conspiracy,' Arnold said.

Advertisement

Smalley was convicted in 1985 at Fort Smith and sentenced to two years for receiving stolen money from The Order.

After dismissing the charge against Smalley, Arnold recessed the trial until 9 a.m. Monday, when the prosecution is expected to complete its case.

Still on trial are Richard G. Butler, 69; Robert E. Miles, 63; Louis R. Beam Jr., 41; David E. Lane, 49; Ardie McBrearty, 60; Bruce C. Pierce, 33; Richard J. Scutari, 40; Andrew V. Barnhill, 31, and Richard W. Snell, 57, all on charges of seditious conspiracy; Snell, William H. Wade, 68; Ivan Raymond Wade, 35; Lambert Miller, 47, and David M. McGuire, 25, all on conspiracy to assassinate, and Scutari and Barnhill on the interstate transportation of stolen money charges.

One of those testifying Friday was Jo Ann Ellison, wife of James Ellison, 47, the former leader of the Arkansas-based The Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord.

She testified mostly about what happened on the Covenant's compound before it was raided by authorities in 1985.

'Lambert (Miller) said on more than one occasion, 'Kill them all and let God sort them out,'' Jo Ann Ellison testified. She said Miller was referring to those involved in the death of Gordon Kahl, a fugitive tax protester killed in a shootout with authorities in 1983 at Smithville, Ark. Authorities believe he was used as a rallying figure by members of right-wing groups.

Advertisement

Jo Ann Ellison, who said she had received money from the government for relocation, testified that Raymond Wade came to the compound and talked about Kahl. She said Wade claimed Kahl was shot in the back of the head and that government agents also killed Arkansas Sheriff Gene Matthews.

'Things like this aren't supposed to happen in America,' she quoted him as saying.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement