American white supremacists marked the New Year with violence, opening 2013 with a murder in Kentucky and an alleged plot in Ohio. Suspects in both incidents have ties to neo-Nazi groups.
The murder occurred near the small town of Walton, Kentucky, south of Cincinnati, Ohio, on January 9. About a week later, Boone County sheriff’s deputies arrested three men on kidnapping, murder and abuse of a corpse charges, stating that the suspects had beaten the victim in two separate locations and stabbed and strangled him to death at the second location, then dismembered his body and left parts of it in different places. The victim was a 19-year old drug addict who also allegedly sold heroin to support his own drug habit.
The suspects arrested were Anthony Baumgartner, 23; Jeffrey Allen, 21; and Stephen Harkness, 22. At least one of the suspects has ties to the white supremacist movement. Baumgartner, who has several white supremacist tattoos, was a relatively recent recruit to the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM), with the rank of “Stormtrooper First Class.” He attended a major NSM rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, in November 2012 and also attended or organized local NSM events in Boone County. He claimed to have in the past been involved with a Ku Klux Klan group; this has not been verified.
Baumgartner and the others also admired outlaw motorcycle gangs and Baumgartner claimed on one Web site that he was the former president of a biker club called “SS Bandits.” This has also not been verified.
Recently, he posted to a white supremacist site that “I want to get back in the race war so me and a few other boys in my area are starting to clean up [the] area of drugs and so called street gangs…we had […] enough and its time we stand up and take back what is ares [sic].”
In neighboring Ohio, meanwhile, federal prosecutors in mid-January indicted another neo-Nazi, Richard Schmidt of Bowling Green, on weapons charges. Schmidt, a convicted felon, allegedly had a horde of weapons that included at least 18 assault weapons and more than 40,000 rounds of ammo. According to NBC News, a law enforcement officer said there was evidence that Schmidt possibly was planning attacks on Jewish and civil rights groups in the Detroit area.
Schmidt was a long-time member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, recently acting as its Toledo contact point, and in the past also occasionally attended meetings of the NSM.