Neo-Nazi Web Site Probed In Jena Case
Saturday, September 22, 2007
FBI agents are looking into a neo-Nazi Web site, which has listed the home addresses and phone numbers of the six black teenagers charged in the beating of a white schoolmate in Jena, La., a bureau spokeswoman said last night.
The Thursday posting on the site that lists the information also encourages readers to "get in touch, and let them know justice is coming."
The FBI is investigating to see whether the posting violates federal laws, special agent Sheila Thorne said from New Orleans.
Deputies had already stepped up patrols around the six families' homes "to keep reporters away," LaSalle Parish Sheriff Carl Smith said last night. Smith added that he did not think the posting was "any kind of viable threat," but that his officers would remain vigilant.
Parish officials have not encouraged the families to leave their homes, the sheriff said, "because we don't want to make people feel like they're living under siege."
Also yesterday, a judge denied a request to release Mychal Bell, the only teenager still jailed.
LaSalle Parish District Judge J.P. Mauffray declined a defense motion for a writ of habeas corpus that sought to have Bell, 17, released, family members and court sources told the Chicago Tribune. A second judge also turned down a defense motion seeking to remove Mauffray from the case.
Bell is the only one to have been tried so far in the December altercation. He was convicted as an adult of aggravated second-degree battery, which could have led to 15 years in prison. But his conviction was dismissed by a state appeals court, which said he could not be tried as an adult because he was 16 at the time of the beating.
And in nearby Alexandria, La., a man was charged with inciting a riot and driving while intoxicated after police allegedly found hangman's nooses dangling from the rear of his pickup truck.
Jeremiah Munsen, 18, who is white, had driven the truck near a bus station past a crowd of people who had attended a civil rights march earlier in the day in Jena, Alexandria Police Chief Daren Coutee said. A 16-year-old passenger in the truck was also arrested; officers are not releasing his name because of his age, Coutee said.
Research director Alice Crites contributed to this report.