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Dallas Morning News
March 2, 1990 (14A)

Skinhead trial witness jailed in suspected death threat

By Tracy Everbach, Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News

A skinhead who testified for the prosecution in the civil
rights trial of five fellow white supremacists has been
arrested on suspicion of threatening to kill an
African-American woman.

Michael Thornton, 21, and six others were arrested Tuesday
night in Richardson, police said.

An official of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith,
which monitors hate groups, said he believed the seven were
members of a new skinhead organization called the Confederate
White Vikings.

Mr. Thornton, also known as “Blade,” remained in the
Richardson City Jail Thursday in lieu of $760 bail on
misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief, assault and public
intoxication, police said.

Mr. Thornton is a former member of the Confederate
Hammerskins, five members of which were convicted Thursday of
violating the civil rights of minorities. He testified in U.S.
District Court on Monday that he still believes in the
superiority of the white race and studies Nazi beliefs.

The incident in Richardson occurred about 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Police said Mr. Thornton broke the windshield of a car
belonging to a 34-year-old woman who lives in an apartment
complex in the 900 block of Allegheny Drive.

“She came out to see what was going on and Thornton got up in
her face and threatened to kill her. He hit her with some
racial slurs,” said St. Ray Pennington of the Richardson
Police Department.

Sgt. Pennington said that, “to their credit, some of the
skinheads were holding him (Mr. Thornton) back.”

Mr. Thornton is on parole for an auto theft conviction. He
testified against the defendants in the federal trial under an
agreement with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to civil rights
violations in exchange for prosecutors’ support before a
parole board.

During his testimony Monday, Mr. Thornton admitted that in
1988 he vandalized Baruch Ha Shem Messianic Congregation, a
Dallas “Jews for Jesus” church, because he didn’t know that it
was for Jews who have adopted some Christian beliefs.

“I sprayed swastikas and writing — ‘Hitler is coming back,’
‘Hitler is Lord,’ and ‘Six Million More,'” a reference to the
Holocaust, Mr. Thornton testified.

Arrested with Mr. Thornton Tuesday night were William Mason,
17, of Plano; Christopher Robin Black, 18, of Plano, a student
at Collin County Community College; Darrell Williford, 19, of
Dallas, also a student at Collin County; Dharma Clark, 19, of
Richardson, a house painter; and a 15-year-old Richardson boy
and 16-year-old Mesquite girl whose names were not released
because they are juveniles.

Mr. Mason was held Thursday in the Richardson jail in lieu of
$565 bail on charges of disorderly conduct, failing to
identify himself and on two Plano misdemeanor arrest warrants.

Mr. Black, Mr. Clark and Mr. Williford were releaswed after
posting bail on disorderly conduct charges. The two juveniles
were released to their parents, police said.

Mark Briskman, regional director of the Anti-Defamation
League, said the Richardson arrests show that “there still are
racist skinhead groups in (the Dallas area).”

Mr. Briskman said he believes those arrested Tuesday are
members of the white supremacist group Confederate White
Vikings. He said the grop was formed last fall and has about
28 members. Some former members of the Confederate Hammerskins
have joined the Confederate White Vikings, Mr. Briskman said.