A federal choose Monday sentenced an area white supremacist to eight years for unlawful firearms possession, telling the person that he seemingly obtained the weapons “as a part of a racist agenda.”
The sentence for Stephen Pattison, a convicted felon who couldn’t have weapons, was lower than the utmost sentence of 10 years sought by prosecutors however considerably over the sentence advisable by federal tips.
The advisable sentence vary, which judges would not have to comply with in the event that they discover distinctive causes not to take action, was 46 to 57 months.
Within the aftermath of racist and different violence, folks usually ask, “Had been there warning indicators, had been there pink flags?,” U.S. District Decide David Larimer mentioned Monday in sentencing Pattison. There are a lot of “pink flags” that would predict future violence from Pattison, Larimer mentioned.
Pattison, 33, had quite a few racist social media postings, many by which he spoke of violence in opposition to Black folks. Whereas Pattison claimed he took unlawful possession of a shotgun and rifle for his household to have — he was returning to jail for violating parole — prosecutors contended that it was evident from his social media that he was inclined to make use of the weapons for racist-fueled violence.
“Your views about white supremacy, Nazi views, racist language — they … consider, too, when one considers the aim for possessing the weapons,” Larimer mentioned.
Pattison has a historical past of racist misdemeanor crimes, by which he referred to as people racist or ethnic epithets and destroyed their property. He was additionally convicted in Missouri for home violence in opposition to a girlfriend, and had absconded from parole when arrested in Monroe County in 2020.
A search of his Hamlin dwelling after the arrest unearthed the firearms and ammunition, and scrutiny of his social media added extra proof, past his previous convictions, of his white supremacist ideology. Whereas in jail after the arrest, he tried to get pals to say the weapons had been theirs.
Pattison’s lawyer, Assistant Federal Public Defender Steven Slawinski, argued that the social media postings confirmed no intent to commit crimes however had been as an alternative claims by Pattison of what he would do if Black Lives Matter or Antifa protesters got here to his neighborhood throughout the 2020 protests.
Larimer responded that town protests had been miles from Pattison’s dwelling.
Assistant U.S. Lawyer Brett Harvey cited a few of Pattison’s social media postings in court docket, one by which Pattison wrote: “Go forward n***, defund the police so . . . I can simply begin (expletive) murderin’ you all in a genocidal charge by (expletive) myself. They’ll be callin’ me the angel of demise. They’ll be callin’ me the brand new Josef Mengele.”
In imposing the eight-year sentence, Larimer dominated that sentencing tips didn’t precisely weigh the seriousness of Pattison’s previous racist crimes or his chance to commit new crimes.
“Violence appears to be your center identify,” Larimer mentioned, noting that Pattison has the phrase “violence” tattooed on a hand.
Larimer quoted a line from the late famend Black poet and memoirist Maya Angelou: “When somebody exhibits you who they’re, consider them the primary time.”
“My guess is that is not somebody whose works you comply with,” Larimer mentioned to Pattison, encouraging him to maybe learn Angelou whereas in jail.
Contact Gary Craig at email@example.com. Observe him on Twitter at gcraig1.