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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Stan Hess

Judge rejects Edgar Steele’s bail request

A North Idaho lawyer accused of hiring a hitman to kill his wife remains jailed after a failed attempted by his lawyers to implement a $1 million bond.

Edgar J. Steele's new private attorneys, Gary Amendola, of Coeur d'Alene and Robert McAllister, of Denver, asked U.S. Magistrate Candy Dale to allow Steele's wife and alleged victim, Cyndi Steele, to testify Wednesday regarding her willingness to put up her property in exchange for her husband's release pending trial.

But Dale refused and questioned their claim that her decision to keep Steele in jail last June was based on “foundation-less, hearsay-filled evidence.”  She read excerpts from phone calls Steele made to his son and wife after his arrest in which he urged her to tell authorities it was not his voice discussing the murder plot on secretly taped recordings.

“I think if you had taken the time to listen to the detention hearing…that you would not have even submitted this motion to the court,” Dale told McAllister. “There has not been a single change in circumstances.”

Read the rest of my story here.

Steele's supporters filled the courtroom Wednesday, including Cyndi Steele, Deon Masker and Stan Hess.

At one point, Hess, (pictured) a former Coeur d'Alene school and North Idaho College board candidate, confronted a supporter who sat in the courtroom holding a tattered paperback book with large swastikas on the cover.

Hess asked him why he insisted on being a walking stereotype. The book was “They Thought They Were Free” by Milton Mayer.

Hayden’s ‘big man in hate’ knew alleged shooter

A man described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “big man in hate” resurfaced yesterday when an acquaintance who stayed at his Hayden home stormed the National Holocaust Museum and killed a security guard.

Before avowed white supremacist James W. von Brunn, 88, was known nationally for the horrific crime, he was a house guest at Stan Hess’s place on quiet Cardinal Avenue in a Hayden subdivision.

Read a story on that here.

What struck me about my conversation with Hess (right) yesterday was his consistency.

What he said Wednesday matched what he’d said in conversations we had when I was the schools reporter in North Idaho: he hates guns and wants to create change for the racist movement through civic action, not violence. However, it should be noted that a national hate watch group has documentation of Hess being arrested at an anti-immigration rally in California for burning a Mexican flag.

Hess lost a bid for the North Idaho College Board of Trustees in fall 2006, then signed up for the school paper as a student in a story you can read here. He quit when the staff prohibited him from calling illegal immigrants “illegal aliens.” Read a story on that here. The story on his candidacy is available here.

He resurfaced in May 2007 as a candidate for the Coeur d’Alene School Board, running against police spokeswoman Sgt. Christie Wood. Read an article on his candidacy that includes an endorsement from white supremacist David Duke here.

Hess lost the race by a considerable margin, and no one heard much from him until von Brunn’s arrest.

Hess said he was the Kroc Center Wednesday when he learned of the shooting but didn’t realize he knew the alleged shooter until a TV station showed up at his house.

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