Bill White Sentencing April 14th
ROANOKE, VA-A judge set the sentencing date for neo-Nazi Bill White for April 14, despite White's earlier contentions that he is "not yet guilty".
Judge James Turk set the date during a hearing where White's attorneys voiced concerns about his four-count conviction ten days earlier of threatening people in the US and Canada. Judge Turk, who has the right to overturn a conviction, said he will make a ruling within the week.
It was a relatively more casual setting than during the trial, with Judge Turk bringing his dog into court and White dressed in his prison clothes, as opposed to the three-piece suit he often wore. Members of the Roanoke chapter of the NAACP and White's father were in the courtroom, as well as Meghan White and their daughter, who were ordered to leave when the infant began crying and disrupting court. One of the jurors was also present.
In a letter dated Jan. 6 sent to "Anonymous" via the One People's Project post office box, Bill White made note of what was to take place. "I don't know if this is out, but I'm letting everyone corresponding know that despite what's been said, I am not yet guilty," he wrote. "A motion was filed December 28, and the judge has thus not accepted the jury vertices on the guilty counts. We are waiting for a final decision on the First Amendment issues.
"Judge Turk made several comments during the Motion to Strike and our first Motion for Acquittal indicating he may not accept a guilty verdict," White continued. "First h stated he wanted a complete record, then he said he wanted to preserve the government's right to appeal and would wait until after the verdict to dismiss the case. So things are hopeful, and we may get an opinion next week."
Bill White's legal issues might also be getting worse. On Jan 13, a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago is considering in light of his Roanoke conviction, possibly reviving the charges against him that he threatened the foreman of a jury that convicted Matt Hale of the World Church of the Creator for soliciting the murder of federal judge Joan Lefkow. Ironically, some of the judges on this panel were the same ones that a Bill White contemporary, white supremacist radio host Hal Turner, was on trial for threatening himself. That trial ended in a hung jury last November, and will be retried on March 21. The decision on White's case, which was filed before he was indicted in Roanoke, is expected later this year. White also faces lawsuits from the Virginia Beach, VA tenants he threatened.
Meanwhile one of White's lawyer, Ray Ferris announced his campaign for the Roanoke City Council. Members of the Roanoke NAACP were present at his announcement, and although they do not endorse candidates, they will be issuing a voter's guide, President Brenda Hale, a target of a few of White's threats, had said Ferris' defense of him was a "deep concern" to her. A Democrat, Ferris said in an interview that his defense of White is based solely on constitutional grounds, and that although he disagrees with White's beliefs he felt compelled to defend him because he believes it is important to defend the U.S. Constitution, including the right to free speech. "I defend it for blacks, for whites, for neo-Nazis, Hispanics -- it doesn't matter to me, because the Constitution of the United States is the glue that holds us all together," he said.
"The fact that I fight for Bill White should tell you something about the way I'll fight for Roanoke city. This case, I can fight for somebody as hard as I did for him on a cause that I don't believe in, you can imagine how hard I will fight for Roanoke city and for what's right for the city, which is something I do truly, honestly believe in."