Neo-nazi gets over 16 years for murder

New Zealand Herald/April 29, 2010

White supremacist Shannon Brent Flewellen has been given a jail term of at least 16 years 3 months for the strangling of a South Korean tourist on the West Coast in 2003.

Flewellen, 30, says it was another West Coast white supremacist, Hayden McKenzie, who carried out the murder of the hitchhiker on a lonely road.

But at Flewellen's sentencing in the High Court at Christchurch today, Justice John Fogarty said Jae Hyeon Kim had died because of the joint conduct of the two men, however it was viewed, Christchurch Court News website reported.

McKenzie has already admitted the murder and was earlier sentenced to life with a non-parole term of 21 years. He had already committed a previous killing.

Flewellen, a Nelson beneficiary, pleaded guilty last month.

There was a suggestion at court today that Flewellen had strangled Mr Kim in a choker hold while McKenzie held his arms, but McKenzie had finally killed him when he revived afterwards.

Crown prosecutor Chris Lange said that Flewellen had boasted about the killing afterwards and had not sought to raise any defence that he was acting under compulsion or threat from McKenzie. He referred to Flewellen having a Nazi flag hanging in his bedroom.

Defence counsel David Ruth said Flewellen had a troubled background and had been a white supremacist since the age of 16. Even so, the death of the young Asian man weighed heavily with him.

He believed he would not make the same choices now, seven years later.

Justice Fogarty said the murder was carried out with a high degree of callousness and it was very significant that the victim was Asian while his two killers had white supremacist, neo-Nazi beliefs.

They had treated the victim as an inferior person who did not deserve the same dignity as others.

"The stand-out factor was the racist aspect of the killing," he said.

He said he had read the victim impact reports "which were written with considerable dignity" by members of Mr Kim's family.

Justice Fogarty reduced Flewellen's minimum non-parole term because of his guilty plea, and noted that he did not have a previous killing on his record as McKenzie had.

Mr Ruth told that court that Flewellen knew that he must spend his time productively in prison so that after his release he could "live a life free of the matters which have blighted his background".

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