Appellate court upholds Matt Hale’s conviction

CHICAGO — The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction and sentence of white supremacist Matthew Hale on charges of soliciting the murder of U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow.

Hale was sentenced to 40 years in prison last year after he was convicted of soliciting his security chief to kill the judge.

Lefkow had ordered Hale’s organization, the defunct World Church of the Creator, to change its name in the wake of losing a trademark-infringement lawsuit.

The court, in a 30-page opinion, ruled there was enough evidence to support the jury’s decision.

Hale had argued no rational jury would have taken his comments about Lefkow seriously.

Hale had solicited his security chief, Tony Evola, without knowing he was working for the FBI, and the court noted Hale had sent out messages to followers seeking Lefkow’s home address.

“Hale knew that Evola was willing to arrange murder on his behalf,” the court’s decision states. The court noted that Hale then had a conversation with Evola in which Evola told Hale to “consider it done,” and Hale had replied: “Good.”

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Chicago Tribune, USA
May 31, 2006

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday June 1, 2006.
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