A white supremacist who dreamed of igniting a "racial holy war" in America was sentenced to serve 21 years and 10 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to bomb Jewish and African-American landmarks in Boston and Washington, D.C.
Leo Felton was sentenced December 11 in Boston by U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner. Federal prosecutors had argued at the time that Felton should receive 27 years, the maximum penalty for the crime under U.S. sentencing guidelines, given the racial overtones and violent nature of the conspiracy.
Prior to sentencing, Felton claimed that he was "a new man, a good man" and that he had disavowed his longheld racial beliefs.
Felton, 32, and his girlfriend, Erica Chase, 22, were arrested in April 2001 after an off-duty police officer noticed Chase passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a doughnut shop in Boston. A subsequent search of the couple's apartment uncovered bomb-making plans and materials, along with sketches depicting a series of attacks on African-Americans and Jews.
In July, the couple was convicted for plotting to build a destructive device, counterfeiting, obstruction of justice and firearms violations. Felton was found guilty of bank robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and trying to obtain explosives with the intent to kill and injure and damage property.
Felton was associated with several white supremacists groups, including East Coast Aryan Brotherhood, a violent white supremacist prison gang, and the White Order of Thule, which embraces Nordic symbolism and mythology.
Chase was a member of the racist and anti-Semitic World Church of the Creator. Her sentencing is scheduled for January 31.
Felton previously served 11 years in prison for severely beating an African-American cab driver in New York City in 1991. While in prison he was involved in two other assaults.
On December 14, 2006, a federal judge sentenced Erica Chase to an additional three months for the related weapons charge that had never been adjudicated. Chase was granted early release in June 2005, and claimed to have renounced her racist views. On December 14, 2006, Leo Felton was sentenced to an additional five years for the same weapons charge as Chase.