To the delight of decent people everywhere, Matt Hale just got a swift kick in the pants.
I’m not talking about the denial of his appeal of his murder-solicitation conviction. That was to be expected.
But what undoubtedly has shocked and roiled Matt Hale’s dark mind is his brother’s arrest last week.
Not that another mark on a rap sheet would shame either Hale brother. But David M. Hale has committed a sin that flies in the face of everything he and his brother screamed and marched for.
David Hale, 38, was arrested Friday in East Peoria for allegedly stealing guns from their father.
To exchange for drugs.
From a black man.
Who police suggest is a friend of David Hale’s.
Mind you, David Hale once stood at the side of his younger brother when Matt Hale first preached his poison on local street corners.
One time stands out. In May 1991, the brothers staged a two-man hate-fest near University Street and Forrest Hill Avenue. That day, they took aim at Martin Luther King Jr., toting signs declaring, “King was an Adulterer” and “King Was a Communist.”
Meanwhile, three black men pulled up in a car, one allegedly toting a baseball bat. David Hale was prepared for such an run-in: He whipped out a .32-caliber pistol and pointed it at the black men, who departed before anyone got killed.
The Hales were arrested on several counts. Each pleaded guilty to a single charge and got probation, though Matt Hale’s record was cleared of the matter after a successful appeal on constitutional grounds.
From there, Matt Hale would gain national prominence as a hater. His World Church of the Creator espoused such tenets as “inferior mud races are our enemies” and “pollution of the white race is a heinous crime.” The church encouraged members to be “courageous, confident and aggressive.”
Meanwhile, David Hale dealt with personal troubles. In 1995, he was found guilty of charges stemming from a threat to kill his wife. David Hale was sentenced to six years in prison.
He didn’t learn much of a lesson. In 2002, David Hale was sentenced to two years in prison for violating an order of protection.
But he always was willing to stand by his brother.
Last year, authorities were investigating whether Matt Hale had any connection to the slaying of the husband and mother of the federal judge whom Hale had tried to have killed.
The FBI asked for David Hale’s assistance by wearing a wire and discussing the case with his jailed brother. David Hale reportedly agreed, saying, “I’ll do anything to prove my brother’s innocence.”
But days later, authorities cut off jail visitations between Matt Hale and his family. So David Hale backed out of the deal.
Matt Hale would be cleared of that investigation, but he got 40 years on the murder-solicitation case. The conviction was upheld this week by a federal appellate court.
Meantime, David Hale returned to East Peoria. He moved into the home of the brothers’ father, Russell Hale, a former East Peoria policeman who is divorced from their mother. Years earlier, Matt Hale had run his church out of the same residence.
David Hale returned the hospitality by allegedly stealing a dozen of his father’s firearms, including an AK-47 rifle. Further, David Hale allegedly confessed – to his father as well as East Peoria police – to trading the weapons for $2,000 worth of crack cocaine.
He faces up to 30 years on charges of aggravated possession of a stolen firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. He remains at the Tazewell County Jail on $200,000 bond.
But here’s the kicker: David Hale’s drug dealer was a 23-year-old black man who lives on the South Side of Peoria. Police aren’t sure how David Hale became acquainted with the man.
“We never got around to how he came in contact with this person,” Papis says. “But I’m pretty sure if he’s hooked on crack cocaine, he’d visit those areas where it would be available for purchase.”
In other words, police says David Hale didn’t make just one trip to the South Side. He became a common visitor to the heavily black neighborhood. And he didn’t just encounter the drug dealer only one time.
They had a business relationship, police said. In fact, Papis suggests David Hale got along well with the drug dealer.
“(Hale) might’ve befriended the person,” Papis says.
If you’re Matt Hale, you’re going ballistic about all this. At the very least, David Hale was doing business with a black man. At most, he became friends with a black man.
That’s hardly the way to fight Matt Hale’s self-professed “racial holy war.” And smoking crack isn’t exactly a way to be “courageous” and “confident,” as Matt Hale demanded of his followers.
You can bet it’s driving Hale crazy. It’s nice to see his perverse creed subverted in a perverse way by his own perverse flesh and blood.