Neo-Nazi's prison stay extended by 7 years

7 years, 8 months for 3rd conviction over emails

The Roanoke Times/May 2, 2014

By Jeff Sturgeon

Roanoke -- Imprisoned former neo-Nazi leader William A. White received an additional seven years and eight months behind bars Thursday for his third sentence over sending violence-themed messages to those he disliked.

This time, White, 36, was punished for badgering his estranged wife with threatening emails in an attempt to extort money in late spring 2012. The new prison term handed down in federal court in Roanoke was added to the nearly three years he has left after earlier convictions.

In November, a federal jury convicted White of transmitting a threat to extort money — three counts for three emails he sent Meghan White — and a single generic threat count for one email. In giving White 92 months for those crimes, U.S. District Judge James Turk said he agreed with the jury that White was guilty and agreed with White’s defense lawyer, Paul Beers, that White is probably mentally ill.

Over the years, White, the former head of the American National Socialist Workers Party, has spent much time in Turk’s courtroom wearing either a dark suit for trial or green pinstripes for motions or sentencing hearings. Thursday, he was in pinstripes.

Turk, who frequently greets defendants and judicial personnel after court, stepped down from his bench and shook hands with White after the proceeding.

“Good luck,” the judge told White.

Authorities in a short time intend to relocate White to Florida, where Orlando-based federal prosecutors want to put White on trial again for threats. This time, the targets were a Florida judge, an FBI agent and a prosecutor, according to the allegations.

White, in handwritten motions sent to the Florida court, has denied the five charges, each of which bears a maximum 20-year term.

A Maryland native who first came to Roanoke about 10 years ago and entered the rental housing business, White has spewed racist and hate-themed messages at a wide range of targets using email, telephone and the Internet.

Among those that resulted in a criminal conviction, the targets included a bank employee from Missouri, a university administrator from Delaware, a human rights lawyer from Canada and two tenants of an apartment complex in Virginia Beach.

The messages to his wife threatened violence but were not explicitly racist. At the time he emailed his wife, White had fled what he thought was the reach of federal authorities by absconding to Mexico. But White walked into an arrest sting at a Mexican Walmart and has been in custody ever since.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia on Thursday asked the judge to give White at least 171/2 years — 10 more than he ended up getting.

Prosecutors argued that White deserved a “career offender” designation that extends the imprisonment of anyone convicted of a felony crime of violence after two prior such felonies.

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