Mobile Neo-Nazi gets 20 years but judge won't consider murder allegations

Press-Register, Alabama/Janauary 9, 2012

A federal judge here last week sentenced a neo-Nazi man to more than 20 years in prison for methamphetamine and firearms offenses, but she said she would not enhance the penalty based on allegations that he murdered a man.

A jury found Daniel Dwight Brown, 40, of Mobile, guilty in August. He also faces a murder charge in connection with the shooting death of James Huddleston III.

A Mobile police detective testified about that case, but U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose said she would not use it against the defendant.

"The charge of murder is a very serious offense," she said. "I am not here today to punish a man for a murder he has not been convicted of."

DuBose sentenced Brown to 15 years and 8 months for possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of meth, and an additional 5 years in prison for 5 gun charges, for a total of 20 years and 8 months.

Brown told the judge that he does not believe he got a fair shake during the trial from the prosecution, the witnesses or the jury. He said he wants a new trial.

In his testimony, Detective Rusty Hardeman said the son of a police officer found Huddleston's body on March 11 on Rabbit Creek Road. The victim was face down and had been shot multiple times in the back, he said; investigators found 16 shell cases that had been fired from 2 different guns.

He said police later found those guns and the victim's cell phone in a Dumpster at the Roundup Club in Theodore, where Brown had been known to frequent.

Hardeman testified that the victim's relatives told police that Brown told them he had been questioned by police about the shooting. Hardeman said that prompted police to consider Brown a suspect because at that point, investigators had not even identified the victim, much less begun questioning possible suspects.

A friend of the victim later told investigators that Huddleston said on the phone that "Danny is coming to get me."

Hardeman testified that cell phone records put the defendant near the victim's home that night, and that 2 Mobile County Metro Jail inmates later reported that Brown told them he had shot Huddleston because the Aryan Brotherhood told him to.

A March 18 search of Brown's home turned up 2 methamphetamine labs, a .22-caliber pistol and ammunition, according to testimony at his trial.

"The danger is obvious, both to people who use it, people who make it and the public at large," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele O'Brien.

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