WBBM, Mar. 25, 2003
(Chicago) — A federal judge will not hold a new detention hearing and said white supremacist and World Church of the Creator leader the Rev. Matthew Hale will remain held pending trial on charges of threatening another jurist, according to documents obtained Tuesday.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Rodovich in Hammond, Ind., earlier this year denied bond for Hale, 31, of East Peoria, who pleaded innocent to a two-count indictment accusing him of soliciting the murder of U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow and obstructing justice.
Hale’s lawyers filed a motion requesting that the court either revoke the detention order or “start from scratch” by conducting a new detention hearing to consider additional evidence and live testimony rather than proffers that Rodovich relied on.
But U.S. District Judge James Moody of Hammand, who is overseeing the case because it involves a Chicago-based judge, wrote an order March 19 denying the defense motion. A copy of the order was obtained Tuesday. “The evidentiary issues that Hale outlines as those he wishes to address at that hearing — for example, the locations of a registered firearm he owns that was believed to be missing — would have little, if any, bearing on this court’s conclusion,” Moody wrote.
Defense lawyer Thomas Durkin could not be reached for comment on Moody’s ruling Tuesday afternoon.
Hale was accused of soliciting an individual between Nov. 29 and Dec. 17, 2002, to assault and kill Lefkow, who ruled against his organization in a civil trademark infringement case. He also was charged with obstructing justice by using force to influence Lefkow in the trademark case, the indictment said.
Because the charges involve a Chicago-based judge, the case was assigned to Moody, who will come from Hammond to the federal courthouse in Chicago to hold trial, scheduled for July 17. Moody noted most of the evidence the government supplied were e-mails from Hale, as well as transcripts of recorded conversations between Hale and a confidential informant.
Although the defense argued in its motion that Hale’s words show his innocence, Moody said he disagreed with the defense’s interpretation of Hale’s statements. Moody cited a taped conversation in which the informant asks if they would “exterminate” the judge after he locates her home address. According to the order, Hale responded: “Well, whatever you want to do basically. … My position has always been that I, you know, I’m gonna fight within the law and, but, ah, that information’s been provided if you wish to do anything yourself you can. So that makes it clear.”
Moody wrote, “There is clear and convincing evidence that unless Hale is under observation 24 hours a day, a condition feasible only through detention, there can be no reasonable assurance he will not communicate with World Church adherents, and so no reasonable assurance of the safety of others and the community.”
Besides the trial date, no other court dates were scheduled before Moody, according to court records. The Oregon-based Te-Ta-Ma Truth Foundation, a religious group that registered the term “Church of the Creator” as a trademark, filed a lawsuit in 2000 in U.S. District Court in Chicago against Hale’s organization for violating the federal trademark law.
The World Church of the Creator, an unincorporated association that describes itself as a religious organization dedicated to the advancement of the white race, distributes information about its principals through various means bearing the infringed term, according to the indictment.
Lefkow originally ruled in favor of Hale’s group in the trademark suit, but the appellate court overturned her ruling. Last November, Lefkow complied with the appellate court’s ruling and ordered Hale’s organization to stop using the name and mark “Church of the Creator,” and to destroy all materials containing the mark and name, the indictment said. Hale was arrested in January while heading to a contempt hearing in the Dirksen Federal Building, 219 S. Dearborn St. Lefkow scheduled a status hearing in the trademark case for 10 a.m. April 3, court records show.