The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Klan Leader Who Plotted to Murder NC Sheriff Gets 15 Years

By Bill Morlin on February 7, 2013 - 1:46 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime, Klan

A Ku Klux Klan leader in North Carolina, who once boasted about building a 50-pound bomb to kill a local sheriff, will spend 15 years in federal prison after a 12-year pursuit by prosecutors.

Charles Robert “Junior” Barefoot Jr., 50, of Benson, N.C., was sentenced Wednesday in Raleigh by U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle. Barefoot, who headed a klavern of the Church of the National Knights of the KKK, was convicted in September on six counts of weapons and explosives violations.

The federal charges were related to a plan – its roots going back to 2001 – to kill Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell. The federal charges were filed after a state judge ruled in 2007 that Barefoot was mentally incompetent to stand trial for his involvement in the 2001 murder of a fellow Klan member.

Barefoot’s threat to kill the Johnson County sheriff developed after he successfully blocked an attempt by Barefoot and 100 Klansmen from five states to march in the 2001 “Mule Days” parade in Benson, N.C. Barefoot also blamed the sheriff for causing the financial collapse of a honky-tonk bar, the Enchanted Barn, that Barefoot and his wife operated for a time.

“I’ll have his head,” Barefoot allegedly said, claiming he had a “50-pound bomb” he was saving “for the sheriff’s office.”

About that time, authorities later learned, Barefoot bought a cartload of black powder and started making pipe bombs. Later, he traded one of his prized hunting dogs for a more powerful liquid explosive. Authorities said Barefoot, a vinyl-siding contractor and truck driver, allegedly instructed his son to plant a bomb outside the Johnson County sheriff’s office if the elder Barefoot was ever arrested.

Barefoot later got involved in buying and selling stolen firearms, the Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald reported in today’s editions.

  • Kiwiwriter

    I remember reading about this guy in Intelligence Report and feeling mostly pity for him, which is a step away from contempt.

    Another idiot with delusions of grandeur. Another great leader and advocate for the “white race.”

    What’s depressing is that he had followers…there were people who believed in him. That’s sad and scary.

  • erika

    Sam, it wasn’t that swift apparently the guy has been in and out of mental hospitals (which since he was facing criminal charges in both state and federal court was likely in a very unpleasant environment) to jails as incompetent to stand since at least 2007. These charges were filed 5 years ago and the conspiracy dated back to 2001. He probably has spent the last decade in state or federal custody (and i wonder if the state murder charges will come back now that he is presumably sane).

    Chances are this guy will spend the rest of his life in prison or a mental health hospital (some of which could be worse than prisons).

    Meanwhile in other federal justice news and for your entertainment of just how nutty the Obama Deranagement Syndrome is among the right, apparently the DOJ is only going after that crazy beard cutter Amish sect leader Samuel Mullet because they are hostile to religion. At least according to former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Bush Administration official, current adjunct law professor at Georgetown,* and passive aggressive DARVO practicioner Bill Otis .

    * this is what makes Mr. Otis’s claim so revealing on just how entrenched ODS is on the right – this isn’t some uneducated wacko conspiracy nut saying this sort of stuff, this is a Stanford Law School graduate who has been a highly successful (and very smart) attorney saying something this compltely insane.

  • Coralsea

    Well, I can see why the state judge thought he was mentally incompetent to stand trial. He directed his son to plant the bomb next to the Johnson County sheriff’s office if he (the elder, or senior Junior) was ever arrested? Uh — wouldn’t he be AT the sheriff’s office, getting booked and placed in a jail cell, at least initially, after his arrest? That doesn’t seem particularly smart.

    I am glad they finally convicted him, though. Another loose cannon temporarily rolled off of the battlefield!

  • Sam Molloy

    And swift, too…

  • Aron

    Ladies and gentlemen: JUSTICE!