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A Roanoke-based neo-Nazi convicted of threatening people around the country learned Wednesday just how much time he'll serve.
Bill White will serve two and a half years in prison. He'll also have to complete three years of supervised release after his prison term.
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According to prosecutors, Bill White also made two children a target of his hate-filled rhetoric. If true, he deserves an enhanced sentence.
Neo-Nazi leader White to be sentenced today
Prosecutors say William A. White should be subject to enhanced punishment because he threatened children.
The leader of a Roanoke-based white supremacy group should receive an enhanced punishment -- between 57 and 71 months in prison -- in part because the people he threatened include two children, federal prosecutors say.
William A. White is scheduled to be sentenced today at 1:30 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.
A jury in December convicted White, the self-proclaimed leader of the American National Socialist Workers Party, of making threats by letters, e-mails, telephone calls and posts on a Web site that was the mouthpiece of his neo-Nazi group.
Defense attorney David Damico said he plans to ask that White be sentenced to the time he has already served while awaiting the resolution of his case, about 18 months.
White has argued, with some success, that his words should be protected by the First Amendment. Of eight charges brought by the federal government alleging threats and intimidation, five have been dismissed.
The neo-Nazi's victims -- all of them strangers who unwittingly said or did something to offend his racist views -- include a bank employee in Missouri, a university administrator in Delaware and several tenants of an apartment complex in Virginia Beach.
In court papers filed this week, prosecutors listed two additional victims: the 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son of Tasha Reddick, who angered White by filing a housing discrimination lawsuit against her landlord.
Although the lawsuit did not involve White, he inserted himself into the dispute in May 2007 after reading about it in the news.
White sent a letter to Reddick's children, identified in court papers as living with their mother, addressed to "Whiney Section 8 N----r."
After a rant about blacks on welfare, White's letter concluded: "You may get one over on your landlord this time, and you may not. But know that the white community has noticed you, and we know that you are and never will be anything more than a dirty parasite -- and that our patience with you and the government that coddles you runs thin."
Even though the two children did not read the letter, they were frightened by its effect on their mother, who moved them to a relative's home for a week and forbid them from walking to and from school, according to prosecutors.
White "deliberately targeted [the children] precisely because of their vulnerable status as minors and the increased apprehension that he would cause Tasha Reddick by targeting her children," prosecutors John Richmond and Cindy Chung wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
Sentencing guidelines used in federal court allow for additional prison time if a defendant picks victims who are "unusually vulnerable" due to their age or mental or physical condition.
In calculating the guidelines for White, a probation officer came up with a sentencing range that is less than the one cited by prosecutors. Judge James Turk will rule on which application is correct at today's sentencing hearing.
White, a 32-year-old landlord and neo-Nazi advocate, has been in jail for all but five days since his arrest in October 2008. Because the guidelines are advisory, Turk could in theory give White anything from time served to the maximum of 35 years in prison.