SAN FRANCISCO -- The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied appeals Thursday by neo-Nazi Randall Paul Evans, one of 23 members of the Order who spearheaed an early-1980s attempt to overthrow the U.S. government and establish a white-only 'Aryan' nation.
The group was convicted of stealing millions of dollars in armored car heists, much of the money going to the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists, and killing at least two people, former Order member Richard West and Alan Berg, a Denver radio talk-show host who had taunted right-wing extremists on his show.
Evans appealed his 1985 racketeering and conspiracy convictions and his sentence to two consecutive 20-year prison terms that was among the lighter penalties given to the 10 Order members who defiantly stood trial together in a highly guarded Seattle courtroom for 10 weeks in 1985.
They had been rounded up a year earlier by federal agents, although their leader, Robert Matthews, refused to surrender and died in a fiery shootout on Washington's Whidbey Island on Dec. 7, 1984.
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit denied all 10 of Evans appeals, involving such issue as improper venue, improper search, juror misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct, ineffective counsel and the merging of the various defendants' offenses.
Evans also objected to being forced to wear orange prison overalls and marched in and out of the courtroom with the others like terrorists -- as federal marshals considered them -- as well as to the fact that the 13 defendants who pleaded guilty in the case got lighter sentences.
In 1983, members of the Aryan Nations Church of Hayden Lake, Idaho, formed a violent splinter group called the Order to carry out the goals of the church. Their plan for a violent revolution included robberies, assasinations, the inciting of racial and anti-Jewish hatred, disruptions of municipal operations and, ultimately, a suicide nuclear attack on the Pentagon, all in order to create a whites-only nation based in the Pacific Northwest.
The Order was dedicated to the destruction of a perceived Zionist- dominated U.S. government and media. It conducted the 'fundraising' phase of its plan between November 1983 and July 1984, robbing numerous armored cars and banks, including a $3 million heist of a Brinks Armored Car in Ukiah, Calif.
Evans, whose code name was 'Calvin,' participated in that holdup on a lonely mountain road on July 19, 1984, carried out by a dozen Order members with information provided by two Brinks 'insiders.'
He and others were accused of purchasing expensive 4-wheel-drive vehicles, stereos, cameras and other items with their shares of the proceeds, items that were recovered when Order members were captured -- unlike the bulk of the money that went to major right-wing groups in the South and Midwest, including the Klan and the National Alliance.
In late 1984, Matthews and several members of the group got into shootouts with FBI agents outside of Portland, Ore., and then were cornered in Washington. The Order was subsequently rounded up and brought to Seattle for the trial.