White supremacist formally sentenced to death

Associated Press/May 13, 2002
By James Jefferson

Little Rock, Ark. -- A white supremacist condemned to die for killing three members of an Arkansas family formally received the death penalty Monday.

U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Eisele also sentenced former Oklahoman Danny Lee to two life sentences for racketeering and conspiracy in what prosecutors said was a plot to overthrow the government and create a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest.

Eisele denied a new trial to Chevie Kehoe, Lee's co-defendant and the alleged mastermind of the plot. Kehoe was sentenced to life in prison.

Kehoe, of Colville, Wash., and Lee, of Yukon, Okla., were convicted in 1999 in the 1996 murders of a Pope County, Ark., family.

Authorities found the bodies of Tilly gun dealer William Mueller, his wife, Nancy Mueller, and her daughter, Sarah Powell, in a backwater of Illinois Bayou north of Russellville.

A series of motions filed since the conviction of Kehoe and Lee delayed Lee's formal sentencing.

Most recently, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Lee's petition for a rehearing of the panel's early vote to overturn Eisele's decision granting Lee a new sentencing hearing.

One of Lee's attorney's, Jack Lassiter of Little Rock, said Monday that he would appeal Lee's sentences to the 8th Circuit. Lee already has a petition for a new trial before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Eisele's order rejecting Kehoe's motion for a new trial came after Kehoe acknowledged that a witness defense lawyers said could provide new evidence offered nothing to exonerate Kehoe or prove prosecutorial misconduct.

Prosecutors did not reveal Bufford McDonald as a witness at the defendants' trial.

Former U.S. Attorney Paula Casey said at a hearing last winter that McDonald, a 65-year-old convicted rapist, offered to testify because he was desperate to avoid prison time.

According to prosecutors, the illegal activities of Kehoe and Lee also included the bombing of City Hall at Spokane, Wash., and a shootout with Ohio police that was videotaped by a police car-mounted camera and broadcast nationwide.

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