CHICAGO – A prosecution witness who claims white supremacist Matthew Hale asked him to kill a federal judge testified Wednesday that he came to consider Hale and other members of the “racial movement” his enemies after another Hale follower got his 13-year-old daughter pregnant.
Jon Fox, 44, now a Minot, N.D., farm worker, said he felt abandoned by fellow “white racial loyalists” when he found himself jobless with a pregnant teenage daughter.
“I expect this kind of behavior from our enemies, but those who say they are white racial loyalists and then turn their backs on children go to the top of our list of enemies,” Fox wrote on a Web site that caters to people who hate minorities.
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Chief defense counsel Thomas Anthony Durkin, attempting to chip away at Fox’s credibility, asked him if he had been talking about Hale on the Web site.
“He became your enemy, didn’t he?” Durkin asked.
“Yes,” Fox said.
“He is your enemy today, isn’t he?” Durkin asked.
“Yes,” Fox replied.
Hale, 32, is charged with three counts of obstruction of justice and two counts of urging the murder of U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow.
Prosecutors say Hale wanted Lefkow dead because she issued an order barring his group from using the name World Church of the Creator because it was trademarked by another organization. Oregon-based TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation – Family of URI, Inc., which holds the trademark, has no ties to Hale and says it does not share his white supremacist views.
The prosecution also planned to call to the stand an FBI informant who joined Hale’s security force and secretly taped conversations with Hale discussing Lefkow.
Hale’s attorneys argued in opening statements Monday that the FBI planted a mole to lure Hale into a murder plot and that the only person on those tapes urging violence was the informant.
Fox on Tuesday testified that after Lefkow issued her order in 2002, Hale asked him if he would kill the judge, several lawyers involved in the trademark case and the head of the Oregon group. He said he refused, and the judge was never attacked.
Under a tough cross examination Wednesday, Fox acknowledged he once posted an Internet message saying that the man who got his daughter pregnant had “cut a deal with prosecutors” to become a government witness in an unspecified proceeding in return for not being charged with rape.
“I just wrote that because I was mad – I can’t say if it’s right or not,” Fox testified. “It just seemed right to me because he hadn’t been charged. I don’t know if it’s true or false.”
Fox also acknowledged that he was asked to move out of a homeless shelter in Kentucky because the operators believed his views might cause friction with staff members Fox described as “of the African-American persuasion.”
The jurors, five of whom are African-American, showed no reaction to the testimony.
Fox had acknowledged Tuesday that he was diagnosed in a 1996 court-ordered psychiatric exam with bi-polar disorder, a mental condition, and is supposed to take lithium. He also acknowledged delivering a speech at a white supremacy rally in Lewiston, Maine, at which he said he would rather suffer with unspecified symptoms than take medicine “handed out by Jewish doctors.”
Hale’s trial is expected to last at least two weeks. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in federal prison.