August 24, 2010 in Idaho

Prosecutor: Steele likely violated court order

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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A federal prosecutor alleges in court documents that former Aryan Nations lawyer Edgar Steele appears to have violated a no-contact order with his wife, a woman he is accused of trying to have killed.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Traci J. Whelan recently filed a notice in federal court saying that Steele mailed a birthday card from the Spokane County Jail with a plea for help to his wife, Cynthia.

“I know how to say ‘I Love You.’ though they won’t let me say it, they can’t stop me from loving you … nor you from loving me, of course _ which I hope you still do, Sweetheart,” the card reads. “I need you more now than I ever have — more than I ever have needed anything.

“Never, in a million years, would I do anything to knowingly harm you. Please understand how much you mean to me. Help me-and-our family-to weather this crisis do-whatever it takes to be able to stand by my side and to continue to be my partner in life. You never will regret it, I promise you.”

Steele addressed the card to his daughter, but prosecutors say it was mailed last month near the date of his wife’s July 29 birthday and the content of his full handwritten message is indicative of what a husband might say to a spouse.

“Of great concern to the United States is that it is clearly an attempt by the defendant to continue to influence his wife,” Whelan wrote in the court document.

Steele is accused of hiring a hit man to try to kill his wife and mother-in-law. He has been in custody since a federal raid at his northern Idaho home on July 11.

“It appears to the United States this is not only a violation of the Court’s No Contact Order but another blatant attempt by the defendant to persuade his wife to do whatever is necessary to help him,” Whelan wrote.


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