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Lawyers Outline Ark. Overthrow Plot

March 8, 1999

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Two men accused in a murderous campaign to overthrow the U.S. government and set up a whites-only nation drowned an Arkansas family and then joked that the victims were on a ``liquid diet,″ a federal prosecutor said Monday.

Chevie Kehoe, 26, of Colville, Wash., and Danny Lee, 26, of Yukon, Okla., are charged with murder, racketeering and conspiracy. They could get the death penalty if convicted.

Kehoe and Lee are accused of using a campaign of violence to set up a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest.

The crimes associated with their alleged plot include a 1996 bombing at City Hall in Spokane, Wash.; shootouts with Ohio police; the slayings of two people in Idaho; and the drownings of a white Arkansas family of three.

U.S. Attorney Dan Stripling told the mostly black jury during opening statements Monday that Kehoe’s beliefs were based on those of Robert Mathews, the founder of the Aryan Nations white supremacist group. Mathews was killed in 1984 when his hideout caught fire during a shootout with federal agents in Washington state.

The prosecutor said Kehoe and Lee robbed the Arkansas family in 1996 and killed them by taping plastic bags over their heads, weighing them down with rocks and throwing them into a bayou.

Later, the defendants told Kehoe’s parents that the family was on ``a liquid diet,″ Stripling said.

The judge has issued a gag order in the case, but Lee’s mother, Lea Graham, said her son is innocent and no racist.

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