Posted by: maboulette | November 9, 2011

IDAHO LAWYER GETS 50 YEARS IN WIFE’S MURDER PLOT

City of Coeur d'Alene

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS – Associated Press 

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho attorney who once represented the white supremacist Aryan Nations group was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in federal prison in the failed plot to kill his wife and mother-in-law.

Edgar J. Steele wanted the women dead so he could collect on an uninsured motorist insurance policy and be free to pursue a relationship with a woman from Ukraine, prosecutors said. He paid $10,000 in silver to another Idaho man who agreed to kill the women, authorities said.

The would-be hit man, Larry Fairfax, testified during Steele’s trial that he accepted the silver because he was desperate for money, but never intended to carry out the plan.

Steele, 66, was convicted in May. He was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill in Coeur d’Alene.

Steele, who represented Aryan Nations and founder Richard Butler during the 2000 trial that bankrupted the hate group, has always denied trying to kill his wife, and Cyndi Steele continues to support him. He told the court Wednesday he was the victim of a government conspiracy because of his political views. He demanded that the judge release him immediately.

“There is no justice today in America for the politically incorrect,” Steele told Winmill. “I am a political prisoner.”

Winmill and U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson both said there was no such conspiracy.

“Through his conduct, including his attempts to influence a witness, Mr. Steele earned every month in prison to which the district court sentenced him,” Olson said in a statement.

Fairfax, 50, confessed to attaching a pipe bomb to Cyndi Steele’s vehicle, but said he rigged it so it wouldn’t go off. It was discovered when she stopped for an oil change shortly after her husband’s arrest. An explosives expert said it could have detonated.

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