Vancouver man sentenced to four years for racially-motivated assault

The Daily News Online/September 2, 2011

The neo-Nazi who prompted a large diversity march through Longview in 2007 was sentenced Friday to more than four years in federal prison for a racially-motivated attack in a Vancouver bar last year.

Zachary Loren Beck, 32, was sentenced to 51 months in prison in U.S. District Court in Tacoma. Beck also was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

"Today's sentence makes clear that racially-motivated attacks will not be tolerated in this country," Thomas Perez, a federal assistant attorney general, said in a press release.

Beck and two other men — Kory Boyd and Lawrence Silk - were all convicted of attacking a black man in a Vancouver sports bar on Jan. 7, 2010.

According to his indictment, Beck twice told the bartender at Captain's Sports Bar that the lone black patron "had to leave."

When the man did not leave, Beck, Silk and Boyd went outside and agreed to attack the man. Returning to the bar, Beck tried to hit the man. Boyd threw a glass bottle at the man, showering him with broken glass. They also yelled racial slurs. The victim and his friends stood up to the attackers, and Beck and the two others left the bar, yelling more epithets, according to court documents.

"Fortunately, the victim was not badly injured ..(in) this hateful attack," U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said in a written statement.

Silk pleaded guilty to state charges of malicious harassment and received a two-year sentence. Boyd pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime charge and was sentenced in January to nearly three years in prison.

Beck waived his right to a jury trial. In June, a federal judge found him guilty of conspiracy, violating his victim's civil rights and witness tampering. The last charge is because Beck tried to get his former girlfriend to provide an alibi for the night of the attack.

Beck's infamy in Longview began in 2004 when he moved here after running for the Coeur d'Alene City Council in Idaho under the Aryan Nations banner.

Shortly after his arrival, a few local churches received mailings of neo-Nazi literature that included Beck's business card. Beck also was charged in 2004 with shooting at Longview police during a standoff. He entered an Alford plea in 2005 to burglary and assault charges. In June 2008, a jury found him guilty of possessing cocaine.

Beck drew the most attention, though, in December 2007 when he rented the McClelland Arts Center in Longview to hold a recruitment meeting for the white supremacist Church of Jesus Christ-Christian.

"Our goals aren't violent at all," he told The Daily News at the time. His church promotes racial purity and "anti-mongrelism," he said.

Before the meeting, more than 400 people opposed to Beck's actions marched through Longview in a "Celebrate Diversity" march. About 30 people attended Beck's recruitment meeting.

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