White separatist wants new trial

(May 19, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- A white supremacist convicted in Arkansas in 1999 wants a new federal trial on charges he killed a Pope County family. Chevie Kehoe contends his lawyer was ineffective in putting forth his defense. Kehoe was convicted of four counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison. A federal appeals court unheld the convictions and sentence in 2002. Kehoe made a filing in federal court in Little Rock yesterday, claiming he was subjected to an unsympathetic jury because of his lawyer's strategy of seating black jurors. The jury included nine blacks and three whites, which Kehoe said his lawyer allowed despite the government's portrayal of Kehoe as motivated primarily by white supremacist beliefs. Prosecutors say Kehoe robbed and murdered an Arkansas family as part of a group that plotted to set up a separate all-white nation in the Pacific Northwest. Kehoe was convicted of killing Tilly gun dealer William Mueller, his wife Nancy and her eight-year-old daughter Sarah Powell in January 1996. Their bodies were found in a backwater of Illinois Bayou north of Russellville. A federal judge sentenced Kehoe co-defendant Danny Lee to death as a jury had recommended after the pair's convictions in May 1999.