Dallas Morning News
February 21, 1990 (20A)
All-Anglo jury selected in trial of five white supremacists
By Tracy Everbach
Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News
A jury of eitht men and six women – all Anglos – was impaneled
Tuesday in a Dallas federal court for the trial of five white
supremacists accused of violating the civil rights of
African-American, Hispanic and Jewish people.
Opening arguments will begin Wednesday.
The jury was chosen from a pool of 60 people that included
Prosecutors say the five defendants in the case are members of
a white-separatist “skinhead” group — called the Confederate
Hammerskins — who assaulted and chased minorities out of a
Dallas park and vandalized a Jewish temple and community
center in 1988.
Before the trial began, defense lawyers had sought a change of
venue, arguing that a jury would be prejudiced by extensive
news coverage of the temple vandalism and park assaults. US
District Judge Barefoot Sanders denied the request.
Judge Sanders asked prospective jurors whether they had heard
news reports about the trial or the park and temple incidents.
The five defendants have pleaded not guilty to charges of
conspiring to violate the civil rights of citizens. Four of
the defendants, Michael Lewis Lawrence, 22, of Tulsa, Okla,
Christopher Barry Greer, 25, of Irving, Jon Lance Jordan, 19,
of Garland, and Daniel Alvis Wood, 20, of Dallas, also pleaded
not guilty to charges of using a firearm during the temple
vandalism in October 1988. The fifth defendant, Sean Christian
Tarrant, 20, of Dallas, is not charged with the firearms
Skinheads shave their heads as a sign of unity.
The trial is expected to last about two weeks. Prosecutors and
defense lawyers have submitted a list of about 120 possible
witnesses, but not all are expected to testify.
Several prospective jurors told Judge Sanders on Tuesday that
they had heard of skinheads in general and knew of the
vandalisms or the park assaults. All but a few of them,
however, daid they would be unbiased by the news reports.
One black woman in the jury pool told the judge that she had
heard about skinheads and heard they were ‘racist,’ but she
aid she could remain impartial. She was not chosen for the
Another black woman in the pool told the judge that ‘really –
I don’t think I could be fair’ about the case. The judge
dismissed her and eight others from the jury pool because they
said they could not be impartial or because of hardship.
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