Monday, March 07, 2011

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill Delays Edgar Steele Trial Until April 26th, Moves It To Boise, Idaho

Despite rejecting three previous motions to either delay or move the trial of Edgar Steele, on March 7th, 2011, on what would have been the first day of Steele's trial, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill agreed to move the trial to Boise and delay the start until April 26th. Steele’s lawyers, Gary Amendola and Robert McAllister, had asked for a continuance on three previous occasions, but Judge Winmill refused, claiming he didn’t see how Steele’s situation would change if a delay was granted.

What changed? First, even though McAllister had been working with Steele's previous lawyer, federal public defender Roger Peven, since November 2010, McAllister said today that Peven did not let him access evidence until he formally became Steele’s lawyer on February 7th. This means Steele would be denied effective counsel without a delay. Second, because of the delay in handing off the defense, the defense missed the deadline for notifying prosecutors of expert testimony; they plan to bring in an expert witness who is expected to question the authenticity of audio recordings of Steele allegedly discussing the plot with hitman-turned-FBI informant Larry Fairfax. Granting the delay also allows audio experts with the FBI more time to review the recordings.

Steele, 65, is charged with use of interstate commerce to commit murder for hire, tampering with a victim, use of explosive material to commit a federal felony and possession of a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence. The last charge carries a minimum 30 years in prison. He has been in custody since June 11th, 2010; his most recent attempt to be released on $1 million bond was rebuffed on February 16th. Prosecutors recently padded the charges further by claiming that Steele wanted his wife Cyndi murdered because he had been establishing a relationship with a young woman who lives outside of the United States; Ukrainian officials interviewed the woman in question and say she provided them with a letter she received from Steele after his arrest in June 2010. The government is also expected to cite previous marital difficulties between Edgar and Cyndi Steele as additional circumstantial evidence to buttress their case; Cyndi had actually filed for divorce in June 2000, alleging her husband "misrepresented his marital status and eligibility" in online dating profiles "with the sole intention of meeting women." But the case was dismissed two months later.

During the upcoming trial, Larry Fairfax will be trotted out as the Federal government's superstar snitch to testify against Steele. Fairfax told the FBI that Steele offered to pay him up to $125,000 to kill his wife and her mother in a car crash meant to look like an accident. But while Fairfax told federal agents about the plot, he failed to inform them he'd already placed a pipe bomb under Cyndi Steele's vehicle, which did not explode while she drove to Oregon and back. The bomb was found by startled workers after she took her vehicle for an oil change. Fairfax admitted to placing the bomb but told agents he manipulated the fuse to malfunction. His attorneys contend Fairfax planned to take Steele's money but not go through with the killing. Earlier, Fairfax reached a deal to plead guilty to one count of possession of an unregistered firearm and one count of making a firearm in violation of the National Firearms Act, but sentencing will be delayed until after the Steele trial (meaning if Steele is convicted, Fairfax will get a shorter sentence, probably at a "Club Fed").

Notwithstanding any previous marital difficulties, Cyndi Steele, in true Tammy Wynette-fashion, is standing by her man. Cyndi maintains that her husband is innocent and has been set up by the government because of his anti-Zionist, pro-White views and for representing clients such as Aryan Nations. She further insists that Fairfax stole more than $45,000 in valuables from her home when he worked as a handyman there, and planted the bomb to cover his crimes. On December 17th, she posted a lengthy and eloquent defense of Edgar which was published in the Bonner County Daily Bee. She also took to Voice Of Reason to plead her husband's case in November 2010.

You can read a superb summation of the entire case from Val Koinen posted HERE. Other sources of information:

-- VNN Forum thread
-- Stormfront thread

1 comment:

Little Scholar said...

Mrs. Cyndi Steele specifically clarified that her husband Edgar Steele did *NOT* represent the Aryan Nations, but only its founder, Richard G. Butler.