April 20, 2011 in Idaho

Edgar Steele trial drew volunteer jurors

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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BOISE - When a federal court prepared to select a jury in Coeur d’Alene last month to try former Aryan Nations lawyer Edgar Steele on charges including murder for hire, the court got a rare surprise: Some folks showed up and tried to volunteer.

Steele now is scheduled to go to trial in Boise on Tuesday. At a hearing Wednesday on pre-trial issues, U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill said , “There was a rather unusual event in Coeur d’Alene - several individuals showed up and wanted to volunteer to be on the jury.”

Winmill said he’s never seen that happen in all his years of judicial service. “It was rather odd,” he said.

So when jury selection starts in Boise on Tuesday, the judge said, court personnel have been instructed to not admit any prospective volunteers.

Steele faces up to 30 years in federal prison on four felony charges related to an alleged murder-for-hire plot to kill his wife and mother-in-law.

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