Couple Pleads Innocent In Jackson Threat
ST. LOUIS (AP) _ A man who says he was raised to believe in white supremacy pleaded innocent today to a charge that he threatened to kill black Democratic presidential aspirant Jesse Jackson.
Londell Williams, 30, pleaded innocent to all four charges contained in an indictment returned Thursday by a federal grand jury.
The indictment accused him of threatening the life of Jackson. Williams and his wife, Tammy, 27, were both indicted on charges that they had possessed an unregistered automatic rifle and had threatened and intimidated a government informant.
During an arraignment before U.S. District Judge Edward L. Filippine, the Williamses pleaded innocent to all of the charges, but they said nothing directly about the case in their own behalf.
In response to questions to determine their competency, both told the judge they do not have mental problems and do not abuse alcohol or drugs.
The couple is being held without bail.
They and their lawyers declined comment following the court appearance.
Filippine gave the Williamses and assistant U.S. Attorney David Rosen 11 days to file post-arraignment motions. The judge set a trial date of July 18.
The Williamses were arrested May 13 at their apartment in Washington, Mo., about 50 miles west of St. Louis.
The original complaint from the U.S. attorney said evidence - including a secretly recorded conversation between Londell Williams and the informant - indicated that a white supremacist organization called the Covenant, Sword and the Arm of the Lord was conspiring to kill Jackson June 21 or July 4. Williams said Jackson was targeted because he was ″getting too close to being president of the United States.″
However, the indictment made no mention of white supremacists or a conspiracy. Since their arrests, the Williamses have denied membership in the CSA or any other white supremacist group. Londell Williams also has denied, in media interviews, having planned to kill Jackson.
Williams has said, however, that he has ″prejudices ... against anything that isnt’t white.″
″There seems to be a white United States of America,″ he said. ″That’s how I’ve been raised.″
The government’s complaint cited a loaded AR-15 rifle that, with help from the informant, was found by sheriff’s deputies in a wooded area of Franklin County. Near the rifle was a bag containing a post card addressed to Londell Williams and maps, one of which bore his fingerprints, authorities said.
Authorities also alleged in the complaint that the Williamses threatened the informant during a meeting on May 11.