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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Keegan Van Tuyl

Spokane racist guilty of beating inmate

A Spokane white supremacist scheduled to be released from federal prison last month was convicted today in Oklahoma of assaulting another inmate.

Keegan Chance Van Tuyl, 29, likely will be sentenced at least four months from now for the charge of inflicting serious bodily harm against another inmate, a clerk for U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot said today.

Friot convicted Van Tuyl after a brief bench trial today in Oklahoma City.

A grand jury indicted Van Tuyl Sept. 20 for the attack on another inmate at the federal transfer center in Oklahoma City on Dec. 1, 2010.

Van Tuyl punched the inmate several times then stomped his face several times after he fell to the floor, according to the indictment. The incident was captured on surveillance video.

In a letter to The Spokesman-Review, Van Tuyl said the inmate was a sex offender, writing “no good deed goes unpunished.” The victim's criminal convictions could not be independently confirmed.

Van Tuyl recently finished serving a sentencing in maximum security federal prison for violating his probation on a firearms conviction.

Online prison records list him as being released, but he actually was transferred to Oklahoma to face the assault charge.

A member of Van Tuyl's racist group, James D. Bacon, was involved in a similar assault while in custody in Spokane.

FBI: Indicted racist had terrorism plans

A reputed white supremacist convicted last month of a gun charge related to an alleged domestic terrorism plot has been indicted by a grand jury for an alleged identity theft scheme.

Wayde Lynn Kurt, 53, is accused of producing fraudulent identification cards for a “task” for which he had been preparing for years, according to a briefing federal prosecutors wrote for his gun trial last month.

Kurt likened the plan to the Oklahoma City bombing and said he would do everything in his power to stop President Obama from being reelected, prosecutors say.

Kurt said “he didn't want innocent people to die but it was possible they would die,” according to the briefing. Kurt “stated that it would be an act of terrorism of the worst kind and would mean a death sentence if he was caught.”

Kurt wrote a letter to an FBI informant in May 2010 discussing the need to establish a white government based on the gold or silver standard, prosecutors say.

“Kurt also wrote that he would need 30 days to establish a new identity, noting the name 'Wayde Kurt would only bring a bad reputation to a publicly exposed political movement,'” according to the trial briefing.

A jury in U.S. District Court in Spokane convicted Kurt last month of felon in possession of a firearm for five firearms he possessed while target shooting with a white supremacist, David Johnathan Udseth, in August 2010, according to court documents.

Kurt told jurors he spoke of a racist plan with Udseth only to infiltrate the group because its members had assaulted a friend, and he wanted to monitor them. He denies being a white supremacist, said his lawyer, Richard Wall.

Kurt alleges Udseth and the FBI entrapped him, but Judge Wm. Fremming Nielsen ruled not reasonable person would believe that prohibited jurors from considering the entrapment defense during deliberations.

Wall expects Kurt will appeal his conviction.

“If he had given that instruction the jury would have acquitted him,” Wall said. “Without the entrapment instruction the only thing they could do was convict him because there was no question he was in possession of the weapons at one point.”

Kurt was arrested on Aug. 30, 2010. He was considered such a risk that the FBI didn’t give him a chance to surrender - an agent ran up and tackled him. He faces up to 10 years in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 26.

Now he faces new charges of aggravated identity theft, two counts of unlawful production of an identification card, two counts of unlawful possession of an identification card and one count of making a false statement under a grand jury indictment filed Wednesday. The charges carry up to 15 years in prison.

Kurt was a member of a racist group led by Keegan VanTuyl, 29, (right) who was released from federal prison last week after serving time for violation his probation on a firearms conviction.

Kurt was recruited into the group in late December 2008 after exchanging a racist greeting with key member Daniel “Church” Wilson (left) when encountering him and other group members in downtown Spokane, according to the trial briefing. The group “routinely traveled around Spokane looking for minorities to bait into a verbal and/or physical altercation, a practice referred to by group members as “coon hunting.”“

 Kurt was asked to become the leader of the group after VanTuyl and Wilson were imprisoned, but the group instead disbanded, prosecutors say.

The jury deliberated just a few hours Oct. 21 before convicting Kurt, who has been in jail since his arrest. The conviction is the latest for a convicted currency counterfeiter whose experience with the criminal justice system dates back to at least 1988, when he was acquitted of murder in Snohomish County.

Udseth was sentenced to three years probation Wednesday in U.S. District Court for manufacture of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana in relation to 90 plants and six pounds of harvested pot found during a search at his home in May.

Udseth said he had a medical marijuana card, according to his plea agreement, but such a card only authorizes 15 marijuana plants and a pound and a half of marijuana, and federal law doesn't recognize medical marijuana.

Assault at skinhead meeting earns prison

A Spokane man has been sentenced to at least four years in an Idaho prison for beating and threatening to kill a man during a skinhead gathering.

Daniel Gean Wilson, 34, (left) and Keegan Van Tuyl (right) beat a man for answering questions about the white supremacist movement wrong after a day of heavy drinking at a home near Spirit Lake  in July 2009, according to the Kootenai County Prosecutor's Office.

The beating escalated after they accused the victim of being a drug user. Wilson then urinated on him, held an 8-inch knife to his throat and threatened to kill him if he told police. Wilson has “an extensive criminal record” in several states and has previous convictions for numerous property and violent crimes, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Wilson was sentenced to 12 years in prison with eligibility for parole after four years and credit for time served. He had pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in March.

Van Tuyl, co-founder of two Odinist-skinhead groups, Vangard Kindred and Valhalla-Bound Skinheads, is to be released from federal prison this fall on a weapons charge.

Skinhead promises speech at bench trial

A self-described skinhead says he has prepared a speech to read at his federal bench trial this afternoon for allegedly assaulting an accused child molester.

James D. Bacon, 23, is charged with misdemeanor assault for punching Darrell W. Monzingo, 44, as the men shared a holding cell at the Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse on March 10.  The assault was captured on video, accoridng to a trial brief.

In an April 9 jailhouse letter to The Spokesman-Review, Bacon said he is a member of the Valhalla-Bound Skinhead movement, which was founded by Keegan Van Tuyl. Van Tuyl is scheduled to be released from federal prison in September. Authorities consider him extremely dangerous.

Bacon said his three-page speech will shock the judge.

“However, it is written with an eloquent passion from my heart,” Bacon wrote. “It is by no mean's vulgar, & it addresses my beliefs as a skinhead, as a man, & as a person utterly disgusted with sex offenders.”

Bacon wrote that he hopes victims of sex crimes can be consoled by “knowing that people like myself are fighting in their honor.”

Bacon, who was convicted of armed robbery in 2004, was wanted for a felony drug violation and Department of Corrections warrant when he ran from police near Wellesley Avenue and Regal Street on Dec. 7.

Police arrested him in a struggle, then realized he was armed with a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.

Monzingo, whose trial is set for September, faces up to 30 years in prison after Spokane police found child pornography during a search of his home in the 3400 block of E. Fairview Ave. on Dec. 16. He's charged with manufacturing the material.

Racist leader resentenced in Spokane

A white supremacist imprisoned for violating his federal probation was resentenced in Spokane recently after prosecutors acknowledged a language glitch in the original judgment.

Keegan C. Van Tuyl, 28, (left) is in the Spokane County Jail awaiting transport to federal prison after he was sentenced to two years in prison - the same sentence handed down a year ago but vacated after Van Tuyl called a probation condition that prohibited him from associating with “Neo-Nazi/white supremacist affiliates unconstitutionally overboard,” according to a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals memorandum filed in October.

Federal prosecutors agreed that the judgment “should be changed to explicitly reflect that the condition prohibits association with known neo-Nazi/white supremacist affiliates,” according to the memo.

Van Tuyl, the son of former Central American missionaries, was transferred from federal prison to the jail on Dec. 14 and sentenced again in U.S. District Court in Spokane on Jan. 14.

He's already served three years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm but was rearrested after court officials learned he'd contacted white supremacists and left the state to attend a skinhead meeting in North Idaho in the summer of 2009.

Van Tuyl co-founded two Odinist-skinhead groups, Vangard Kindred and Valhalla-Bound Skinheads, while in prison and recruited members there, according to court testimony.

At Van Tuyl's probation revocation hearing in January 2010, Jacob Wilson, of Coeur d'Alene, described racists activities he, Van Tuyl and other skinheads committed , including maliciously harassing or assaulting African Americans and spraying racist graffiti.

Van Tuyl has been linked to a white supremacist arrested last summer on federal weapons charges, Wayde Lynn Kurt (right).

Spokane- area investigators believes Kurt, a convicted currency counterfeiter, used fraudulent identities to obtain guns and ammunition.

Kurt is considered such a flight risk that the FBI didn't give him a chance to surrender last August - an agent simply ran up and tackled him.

Kurt has pleaded not guilty to weapons charges and is in the Spokane County Jail waiting trial.

FBI raid targets man with skinhead ties

A felon who attracted federal attention for his contact with a jailed white supremacist leader is part of an ongoing investigation that includes a series of raids at Spokane County locations Tuesday.

Wayde Lynn Kurt, 52, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to a federal weapons charge alleging he unlawfully possessed two assault rifles and a handgun as a felon on Aug. 21. He’s due back in court Thursday.

Kurt was arrested Monday in an investigation authorities with the FBI declined to discuss.U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno warned Kurt Tuesday against improper use of the jail phone after Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks said a man tried removing evidence from a property being searched by the FBI after Kurt called him from jail.

Read my full story here.

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