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13 Face Charges Again in '83 Kagel Canyon Cross-Burning

January 07, 1986|From United Press International

An appellate court Monday reinstated charges against 13 neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members in connection with a triple cross-burning outside a Kagel Canyon home in 1983. Two of the defendants are members of The Order white supremacist group recently convicted of federal racketeering charges.

Other defendants in the misdemeanor cross-burning case include Richard Butler, head of the Idaho-based Aryan Nations, another white supremacist group; and Tom Metzger, a California KKK leader who was the Democratic Party's losing candidate for a San Diego County congressional seat in 1980.

Killed Missouri Trooper

A fifth defendant is Order member David Tate, who was convicted of killing a Missouri state trooper. Tate was also indicted in the federal racketeering case in Seattle.

The Superior Court Appellate Department in Los Angeles reinstated 10 misdemeanor charges, including unlawful assembly, conspiracy to commit an unlawful assembly and setting a hazardous fire, stemming from the December 1983 cross-burning in the racially mixed canyon area north of Lake View Terrace.

The case was dismissed by Los Angeles Municipal Judge Sidney A. Cherniss Jr. in 1984 after defense attorneys argued that the city attorney's office had not properly drafted the criminal complaint.

Cherniss, after considering police arrest reports, ruled that the criminal complaint was legally insufficient, Deputy City Atty. Gregory Wolff said.

Prosecutors Appeal

Prosecutors appealed the dismissal to Superior Court, which ruled that the complaint was legally sufficient, Wolff said.

The case probably will be sent back to Cherniss' court in a few weeks so that the defendants can enter pleas, Wolff said. The defense, however, can request a rehearing before the appellate court.

Other defendants include Randall Evans and Frank Silva, two of 10 Order members convicted in Seattle on Dec. 30 of federal racketeering and conspiracy in connection with a pattern of illegal activities, including armed robberies, counterfeiting and the murder of Denver talk-show host Alan Berg.

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