On Tuesday September 1st, 2009, U.S. District Judge Dee Benson corrected a small injustice when he ordered Eric Egbert's 42-month sentence reduced to 33 months. The reduction was not opposed by prosecutors, and was intended to correct a disparity between Egbert's sentence and those of his co-defendants, Shaun Walker and Travis Massey. The three are former members of the National Alliance who were convicted in April 2007 of conspiracy to interfere with civil rights and interference with a federally protected activity in connection with alleged attacks upon two non-whites in late 2002 and 2003. Full stories published by the Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News, and KSL Channel 5.
The disparity was created on July 22nd, 2009 when, in response to a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling issued on April 14th, 2009 ordering a review of sentencing, U.S. District Judge Dee Benson re-sentenced Shaun Walker (originally 87 months) and Travis Massey (originally 57 months) to shorter terms of 37 months and 30 months, respectively. Walker and Massey had appealed the previously sentences as grossly disproportionate. Since Eric Egbert was not covered by the 10th Circuit ruling, his original term of 42 months remained in effect, although he was considered to be the least culpable. In response, Egbert filed a motion to get his sentenced reduced. And now it's been granted - he should be out by the Dec-Jan time frame.
The trial and conviction of Walker, Massey and Egbert is considered by those in the know who have done their homework to have been a major miscarriage of justice (Walker was the Feds' real target, since he was the Chairman of the National Alliance at the time). All three were charged and prosecuted primarily on the testimony of two snitches, Keith Cotter and Brad Callahan. Cotter sang like a canary to get leniency for another crime, and Callahan may have been threatened with prosecution for an undisclosed crime to induce his "cooperation". Both minimized their own roles in the crime and maximized the roles of the accused. According to Shaun Walker himself, Cotter lied outright; Walker wasn't even present for either bar fight. Read Walker's own account of events HERE.
This was just one of the reasons why the State of Utah never preferred assault charges against the three. If the Feds' version of events was true, the State of Utah would have preferred charges, because there would have been a prosecutable case. Utah doesn't put up with people brawling in public. But the Feds decided to try Walker, Massey, and Egbert for their politics, and unfortunately, they convinced an all-white jury to go along with it.
But we shouldn't be too hard on the jury. Most of what they knew about the National Alliance and so-called "white supremacism" most likely came from T.V. shows like American Skinheads, or from the ADL and the SPLC. The anti-racist racket is a sweet deal for these two groups, who rake in millions of dollars in donations from suckers every year in the name of "anti-racism". Many of those posting comments to the KSL story are steeped in the same ignorance.
However, some commenters obviously did their homework in advance, and post some intelligent insight:
They were guilty of nothing more than a bar fight
by Mel G. @ 1:01pm - Fri Sep 4th, 2009
One of the supposed victims was never identified and the other wasn't even hurt. They were convicted for their ideology pure and simple. The key witnesses were looking at long jail time for an unrelated crime and were offered a deal to testify. If that ain't a conflict of interest. The federal prosecutor was hispanic and they got 3x the maximum sentence. If the roles were reversed it would not even be on the news. 3 white guys get in a fight and it's a race war, 3 black guys gang rape and murder and it's silence. Don't be so quick to assume because it could easily be you.
who's the Skraeling who disagreed with me?
by Mel G. @ 1:32pm - Fri Sep 4th, 2009
Read up on the trial! It's tainted with bias. Look if these men had actually done what the media claimed that's one thing but the whole case relied on the testimony of 2 convicted criminals looking at long prison sentences. One of the incidents they were convicted of, they never had a victim, it was all hearsay. The second instance was a mutual bar fight with a mexican and 2 white guys. Now can you imagine not only getting convicted but being sentenced to 84 months [actually 87 months] in federal prison. Point your fingers but all Americans are in trouble if it's that easy to get convicted.
by JA927 @ 11:51am - Fri Sep 4th, 2009
the article said they were charged with "interference with a federally protected activity." so being a minority is a federally protected activity? did I miss something?
They were convicted of 2 incidents and neither
Mel G. @ 2:03pm - Fri Sep 4th, 2009
had anything to do with walking on the street. It's a made up charge and it turned it into a federal crime. I'm not interest in defending white supremacist just in finding truth and justice. You are not a white supremacist for concerning yourself with the interest of white America and pointing out the double standards.
I guess it's just too difficult to understand how the Feds could convict three guys of a crime over an event considered to be non-prosecutable by the state. The clinically bureaucratic term "interfering in a federally-protected activity" just doesn't provoke the same degree of outrage as the term "assault and battery", unless you're a Fed-worshipper.