APn 02/24 1811 Sedition Trial By BILL SIMMONS Associated Press Writer. FORT SMITH, Ark. (A
APn 02/24 1811 Sedition Trial By BILL SIMMONS Associated Press
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) -- A key prosecution witness in the
sedition trial of members of a white supremacist group testified
under cross-examination from a defendant that he receives direct
guidance from God.
After the government used Jim Ellison's testimony to implicate
many of the 10 men accused of plotting the violent overthrow of
the government, defendant Louis Ray Beam Jr. questioned Ellison
on his religious beliefs.
Ellison testified Tuesday "a prophet of God" led him to settle
in Arkansas, where he was annointed "King of the Ozarks" by
Robert Millar, leader of a religious group in Oklahoma.
Ellison also said he has the gift of prophecy and is a
descendant of the biblical King David.
"Has anyone ever suggested to you before today that you, sir,
might be paranoid?" Beam asked.
"Before today, I've heard it," Ellison said.
Beam and nine others, including Aryan Nations leader Richard
Butler, are accused of seditious conspiracy. The 10, and four
others on trial, espouse white supremacist goals or belong to
white supremacist groups, the government alleges.
Those four, and one of the accused conspirators, are charged
with plotting to kill a federal judge and an FBI agent. Two also
are accused of interstate transportation of stolen money. Those
charged with conspiring to overthrow the government face maximum
sentences of 20 years in prison and $20,000 fines if convicted,
while the charge of plotting to kill federal officials carries a
maximum life sentence.
The government contends the conspiracy involved actions to
kill Jews, who were seen by the white supremacists as in charge
of the United States government.
Ellison has testified that in 1983, members of an
Arkansas-based religious-military group he led had participated
in a murder, robberies and attempts to blow up utility
Ellison is serving 20 years for racketeering and weapons
violations committed when he led the group, called the Covenant,
the Sword and the Arm of the Lord. He was arrested in 1985 after
a four-day standoff.
Richard Wayne Snell, a member of Ellison's group, is on death
row in Arkansas for the 1983 murder of Texarkana pawn broker
Ellison testified that Snell, one of the 14 on trial here,
decided to kill the pawn broker because he considered him to be
"an evil man, he was a Jew, and that he just needed to die."
Snell also is serving a sentence of life without parole for
the 1984 slaying of state Trooper Louis Bryant.
Ellison said Beam and others agreed in 1983 at Hayden Lake,
Idaho, to step up activities to bring down the government and
replace it with an all-white state in the Northwest.
Ellison also has testified that defendant Robert Miles, 63, of
Cohoctah, Mich., gave him a 30-gallon barrel of cyanide to poison
the water supplies of New York or Washington, D.C., to create
Butler, 69, of the Aryan Nations group, gave approval for the
CSA to provide sanctuary to members of The Order when they were
"in trouble with the law," Ellison said.
At a trial in Seattle, more than 20 people, many of them
members of The Order, were convicted of racketeering for
robberies of banks and armored cars. Some of the defendants in
the Fort Smith case were sentenced in the Seattle case.
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