Final Guilty Pleas in Missouri Racial Attack

  • April 29, 2004

White supremacists Kenneth Francis Johnsen and Michael Angelo Osorio pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Missouri, to civil rights charges for their role in a racially motivated attack on two African-American men at a restaurant in 2001.

On April 27, 2004, Johnsen and Osorio admitted that they and three other co-defendants beat, kicked and stabbed a man at a Denny's restaurant because of his race.  The other victim suffered less severe injuries.  Witnesses described the five attackers as wearing Aryan Nations shirts and having swastika tattoos.

U.S. Attorney Todd P. Graves said, "The first successful federal civil rights prosecution in the history of Springfield should send a message loud and clear that we will not tolerate such crimes in our community."

Under the plea agreements, Johnsen and Osorio face up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. They also face a concurrent sentence on related state assault charges.

The three other co-defendants, Steven H. Heldenbrand, Michael Shane McCormick and Mark Thomas Kooms, pleaded guilty to similar charges earlier this month.

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