Benson KKK leader convicted

Charles Robert Barefoot Jr
September 28, 2012 2:17:30 PM PDT
A federal jury has convicted a self-proclaimed leader of the North Carolina Ku Klux Klan on charges he plotted to kill Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell.

United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker said 49-year old Charles Robert Barefoot Jr., of Benson, blamed Bizzell for the failure of a nightclub he owned and for the Klan not being able to march in the September, 2001 Mule Days parade in Benson.

Walker said Barefoot experimented with making bombs and told a fellow Klan member he had a plan to float down the Neuse River on a boat, get out at Smithfield, and plant a bomb at the sheriff's office. There is no evidence the plot was ever attempted.

In addition to explosives charges, Barefoot was also convicted in a scheme to sell over 30 weapons stolen from a home in Benson.

At sentencing, Barefoot faces a maximum prison term of up to 51 years in federal prison.

Barefoot was originally arrested on the federal charges in 2002 after agents raided his Benson home. The case has dragged on for years over questions of his mental competency.

Barefoot is also one of four people accused of killing a man whose body was found near Clinton in 2003.

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