White Supremacist Pastor Convicted

The Associated Press/January 15, 2002

Springfield, Mo. -- A white supremacist pastor convicted of abducting six of his grandchildren is seeking a new trial, in part because he contends the judge was biased against him.

Gordon Winrod, 74, was convicted last year of taking his grandchildren from their homes in North Dakota between 1994 and 1995. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Winrod said he thought the children were being abused. But Circuit Judge William Mauer wouldn't allow the accusations to be an issue during the trial because they were never proven.

A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.

Police raided Winrod's secluded 400-acre farm in the Ozarks in May 2000, arresting him and then working for four days to talk the children - then ages 9 to 16 - into surrendering.

Thomas Carver, Winrod's attorney, said he planned to present two main arguments for a new trial in the Southern District Missouri Court of Appeals.

The first deals with the court's refusal to allow Winrod to subpoena out-of-state witnesses - including his grandchildren, Carver said. "The second is the judge stepped outside of his role as judge and in effect became biased and prejudiced against Gordon Winrod.''

The attorney general's office said Winrod didn't follow proper procedures when he acted as his own attorney during last year's trial. The state also contends that the trial judge was not biased.

Winrod is the pastor of Our Savior's Church, which has been linked to the Christian Identity movement. The movement considers white Christians superior to nonwhites and Jews.

Authorities argued Winrod brought the children to his farm because he wanted to indoctrinate them with his beliefs.

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