William A. White addresses the media in Toledo, Ohio. City leaders canceled a scheduled Nazi march after this gathering.
From today's paper
Neo-Nazi leader White to be sentenced today
U.S. v. William White
Read complete coverage from December's trial, as well as previous William White coverage
Bill White, a Roanoker branded America's "loudest and most obnoxious" neo-Nazi, was sentenced to 30 months in prison today for using his Web site, e-mail and the telephone to menace strangers.
The jail term locks away White, 32, for a period at the upper end of federal sentencing guidelines determined by U.S. District Judge James Turk. The judge said he rarely sentences defendants on the high side of guidelines, but did so because of the fear White instilled in many of his victims.
Turk told White that when he gets out of prison, "You can have any thoughts that you want to have, but you ought to keep them to yourself.
"I hope this will teach you a lesson, I really do," the judge told White, who declined a chance to speak at today's hearing.
Today’s sentencing in U.S. District Court in Roanoke follows a December trial in which White was convicted of threatening people in Missouri, Delaware and Virginia Beach.
White’s victims strangers to him and to one another unwittingly said or did something to anger a neo-Nazi activist, who then used his Web site, e-mail and the telephone to harass and threaten them.
For Citibank employee Jennifer Petsche, it was the way White’s credit card account was handled. For Tasha Reddick and Tiese Mitchell, it was the housing discrimination lawsuit they filed against their Virginia Beach landlord. For University of Delaware administrator Kathleen Kerr, it was a diversity awareness program at the school.
According to earlier testimony, White told a secretary in Kerr’s office that he was the leader of neo-Nazi group, that people who think the way she does about race should be shot, and that he would hunt her down.
White has claimed his words are protected by the First Amendment a defense that proved successful with another five charges that were dismissed.
White moved to Roanoke in 2004 and began to buy and rent houses in the impoverished West End neighborhood. At about the same time, he became involved in the white supremacy movement, forming the American National Socialist Workers Party and declaring himself the commander.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors U.S. hate groups, has called White "possibly the loudest and most obnoxious neo-Nazi leader in America."
U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy has scheduled a news conference this afternoon to speak about White's sentence and "the importance of prosecuting civil rights cases," according to a statement from his office.
The Roanoke Times http://www.roanoke.com/