A white supremacist has been convicted of soliciting an attack on the gay man who led a jury that sent another member of the racist movement to prison in 2004, the Chicago Tribune reports.
In U.S. district court in Chicago Wednesday, jurors found avowed neo-Nazi William White (pictured) of Roanoke, Va., guilty of soliciting an attack on Mark Hoffman of Chicago, who six years ago was foreman of the jury that convicted white supremacist Matt Hale of plotting to murder a federal judge.
In 2008, White posted information about Hoffman on the website Overthrow.com, including his home address, his phone numbers, and the fact that he is gay and his partner is African-American. White also wrote on the site that he held Hoffman responsible for what he considered the wrongful conviction of Hale. Hoffman then began receiving numerous hateful and harassing phone calls and text messages, leading federal prosecutors to charge White with solicitation.
Prosecutors said White's posting of the information clearly showed he wanted to incite violence against Hoffman. Defense attorneys argued that the intent was merely to harass him, which is not a violent crime.
In an unusual development Wednesday, jurors asked for the courtroom to be cleared of press and spectators before they announced their verdict, a request the judge denied. Prosecutors said they could see why the jurors were concerned.
"They were hearing a case where the life of another juror was threatened by a white supremacist because of his role in convicting another dangerous white supremacist," assistant U.S. attorney William Hogan Jr. told the Tribune. Defense attorney Nishay Sanan, however, said the request showed the verdict was "based on fear," not the law.
White, who will be sentenced later, faces up to 10 years in prison in the case. He is already serving a 30-month sentence on another online threat conviction in Virginia.