KKK Leader Will Plead Guilty To Cross Burning In Black Neighborhood
A KKK leader in Southern Alabama intends to plead guilty next week to a 2009 cross burning in a predominantly African-American neighborhood. Steven Joshua Dinkle burned the cross in an attempt to intimidate residents and then lied to investigators once he was arrested. He is now being charged with conspiracy to violate housing rights, criminal interference with the right to fair housing, using fire to commit a federal felony and two counts of obstruction of justice.
A Facebook page belonging to Dinkle also has a photo of him displaying a Klan tattoo. He was the exalted Cyclops of a KKK chapter in Ozark at one point, but said he left the organization months before the cross burning. His mother, Pamela Morris, is also being charged with committing perjury before a grand jury that investigated the case.
The federal complaint reports that Dinkle and an accomplice drove to the Johntown Road area of Ozark and doused a six-foot cross with gasoline before lighting it. They also wrapped the cross in blue jeans and towels to help keep the flame going. Dinkle then reportedly lied to both the state and federal investigators about knowing the man who was his superior within the organization and provided a fake alibi.
Morris also lied to state and federal investigators by denying her involvement with the KKK, despite being the treasurer for the Ozark chapter, as well as her son’s involvement in the cross burning. If convicted on all counts, Dinkle faces 45 years in jail and $750,000 in fines; Morris faces up to five years on jail and $500,000 in fines.