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Racist postings allowed at bomb suspect’s trial

Sat., Aug. 6, 2011

A federal judge Friday denied motions from attorneys representing domestic terrorism suspect Kevin W. Harpham, allowing evidence of racist postings found on Harpham’s computers to be used at his trial.

U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush said the searches of Harpham’s home, at 1088 Cannon Way, near Addy, Wash., and at his father’s home in Kettle Falls, Wash., fell “within the four corners of the search warrant.”

The judge also recalled FBI agent Joseph Cleary, who acknowledged that it was a mistake that neither he nor another agent read Harpham the arrest warrant even after Harpham, 37, asked why he was being taken into custody on March 9 near Addy.

“We should have” read the arrest warrant, Cleary testified. “I wasn’t aware that it was a federal rule.”

Cleary explained that he and another agent developed a plan on March 8 after talking with the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit to delay Harpham’s Miranda warnings and instead try to build a rapport with the suspect.

Cleary said they had hoped to quickly get Harpham, who is charged with leaving a bomb at the Jan. 17 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March and targeting minorities, to the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office for interrogation. However, they were delayed because they returned to Harpham’s home to help deal with a situation with Harpham’s neighbor.

The next hearing in the case is 10 a.m. Friday. The trial is set to begin Aug. 22.

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