The Untouchable Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan
White supremacist wages campaign of threats and intimidation against witnesses in upcoming attempted murder trial
By Nate Thayer
March 9, 2017
Before Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard Christopher Barker was arrested for attempted murder, a federal court warned if he violated his probation one more time he would be sent to a federal penitentiary.
At the time of his December 3, 2016 arrest for a pre dawn stabbing in his North Carolina home “with a deadly weapon with intent to kill causing serious injury”, Barker was on federal probation for “possession of a firearm by a convicted felon” after the FBI was alerted to Barker’s involvement in a “conspiracy to build a nuclear weapon of mass destruction” targeting New York City.
These were not the first times the leader of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, one of the most extremist white supremacist groups in the United States, had broken the law and they would not be the last.
Mr. Barker has been arrested at least 50 times for an extravagant plethora of crimes in recent years.
The charges include several assaults, aggravated assaults, assaults with a deadly weapon, illegal possession and sale of a firearm, possession of stolen weapons, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, forgery, larceny, burglary—forcible entry, possessing stolen goods, malicious arson, making threatening phone calls, threats/intimidation, and at least six arrests for assaulting or threatening to kill his wife, according to various police and court records. These are in addition to more than 20 alcohol related offenses.
But Barker has never been to prison, North Carolina and Federal law enforcement say, and court documents confirm.
Evidence suggests that Christopher Barker’s remarkable history of simultaneously thumbing his nose at the law and staying out of jail may be related to his other role as an undercover informant for the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
On December 13, a North Carolina grand jury indicted Christopher Eugene Barker, 38, of Yanceyville, North Carolina and William Earnest Hagen, 50, of Orange, California on attempted murder related charges. The indictment said Barker “did aid and abet William Ernest Hagen in unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously assaulting Richard Dillon with a fixed blade hunting type knife, a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflict serious injury.”
“If I got arrested for what Barker has done, I would have been locked up a long time ago and I’d still be locked up now,” said Paul Peck, a former member of Barker’s Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in charge of 11 Midwestern states until he resigned in protest after the December stabbing incident. “After all the things Barker has been arrested for, and then be busted for trying to kill someone, why is he still free? What else does he have to do to be locked up, kill someone?”
But Barker’s supervised federal probation was not revoked after he was arrested on charges of trying to kill a fellow Klansman and he was not remanded into federal custody. Instead, in an unusual request, two days after Barker was indicted by a North Carolina grand jury on the state charges, the U.S. Office of Federal Probation successfully petitioned a federal judge to retroactively “terminate” his probation— and to make it effective starting before his arrest for attempted murder.
Shortly after the Middle District of North Carolina federal court approved this request on January 10, 2017,–the same day Barker first appeared in state court on the charges–Barker’s attorney filed a “motion for bond reduction” arguing “the defendant does not appear to have a significant criminal record.”
Caswell County North Carolina Superior Court Judge W. O. Smith III reduced Barker’s $200,000 bond, and the Klan leader was released from custody on February 16 on the condition he have “no contact or communication with Richard Dillon,” the man Barker is accused of trying to kill.
Those that know Barker are not convinced he ever will be sent to prison, no matter what he does, and Mr. Barker seems confident they are correct.
Since he was released from the Caswell County lock up to his home three weeks ago, Mr. Barker has been waging a coordinated campaign to threaten and intimidate the stabbing victim and potential witnesses at Barker’s upcoming trial, according to emails sent by Barker and his Klan loyalists obtained during this investigation, and interviews with law enforcement and others.
“Fuck you fat whore, the only one about (to) be charged for murder now is Richard Dillon,” Barker wrote to Theresa Taylor, about the man he is alleged to have tried to kill. “And then we will focus our attention on you.”
The February 27, 2017 message from his personal email account was signed “Imperial Wizard Chris Barker.” Taylor, of Illinois, is on the prosecution witness list for Barker’s upcoming criminal trial.
The conditions for both Barker and Hagen pre-trial release says they must have “no contact or communication with Richard Dillon nor David Winebrenner,” according to Caswell County North Carolina court and law enforcement documents. “You may be arrested without a warrant if you violate any condition of release in this Order,” according to the February 16, 2017 document. Intimidating or threatening victims or potential witnesses are felony crimes in North Carolina.
“Hell, maybe you can help Richard pay for him and his buddy who is about to also be charged for attempted murder,” Christopher Barker wrote to Theresa Taylor in another message sent March 1.
The man referred to as the “buddy” of Richard Dillon is David Winebrenner of Hammond, Indiana, an eyewitness to the December 3 stabbing incident and a named witness for the prosecution in Barker’s upcoming trial.
Richard Dillon, 48, a union pipe fitter from Hammond, Indiana, was attacked and stabbed with a knife “three times in the upper chest, penetrating the rib cage” during an early morning alcohol fueled dispute December 3 at Barker’s house as several dozen members of the LWK Klan faction from around the country gathered in Caswell County, North Carolina to hold a “Trump Victory Parade” scheduled for later that morning.
“Spread all the lies you want, you know how the LWK works,” Barker wrote to Taylor again on March 1.
Dillon and other former members of Barker’s Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan contend they do know how the LWK works which is why several expressed fear for their safety after Christopher Barker was released from jail and began threatening those who he now suspects of cooperating with law enforcement.
“Your damn right I fear for my life!” said Dillon in a March 7 interview. “Believe me, I know these people as well as anyone and I know what Barker is capable of.”
Barker has mobilized members of his Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan as surrogates in what appears to be a coordinated campaign of intimidation and threats at those most likely to testify at Barker’s upcoming trial in Caswell County, North Carolina Superior court, according to documents and interviews.
“When Chris gets out I am letting you know now he knows what you and James are up to and he is going to start taking action. So just be ready,” wrote Barker’s wife, Amanda to Theresa Taylor on December 15 two days after Barker was indicted by a North Carolina grand jury. “I would be very careful.”
Amanda Barker holds the title of “Imperial Kommander” in the Loyal White Knights. Theresa Taylor was 2cd in command under Ms. Barker, and her husband, James, was the 2cd in command under Imperial Wizard Chris Barker until they both resigned in protest immediately after the stabbing of Mr. Dillon.
“Oh by the way your IN (Indiana) buddy will be pulling about 10 years in state prison when it’s all said and done,” Amanda Barker wrote on February 27 to Paul Peck of Illinois. Ms. Barker was referring to Richard Dillon, the victim her husband is charged with stabbing. “I bet it’s going to make you cry to see the truth of things.”
“You, your husband, Ray and Michael will be spending some time in prison, “Barker’s co-defendant, William Hagen wrote to Theresa Taylor from his personal email account on February 27 referring to four former members of the Klan group who are named to the prosecution list of witnesses. Hagen holds the title of Grand Dragon—or state head—of California and “Imperial Kleagle”–or chief recruiter–responsible for 13 western states for the Klan group. “If I were you, I would stop spreading lies about myself, Chris and Joe. My lawyer and myself will see the four of you in court.” He signed the email “Sincerely, William Hagen.”
At the time Mr. Hagen was arrested in North Carolina in December, he was free on $500,000 bond in California awaiting trial there for the April 14, 2015 stabbing of a Mexican-American in the parking lot of an Orange County, California Denny’s restaurant in what prosecutors considered to be a hate crime at the time. Hagen’s jury trial is scheduled to start on March 28 in Orange County California Superior Court on charges of “assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm”, “criminal threats”, and “personally using a deadly weapon”. Hagen has been charged at least twice before in California for stabbing people, according to California court records.
“Those threats from Chris (Barker) and (William) Hagen were meant for me. They knew it was going to get back to me. Those are some of the people who have been defending me,” said Richard Dillon, the Indiana Klansman who Mr. Hagen and Mr. Barker are charged with attempting to murder.
“If I go to testify, they will not let me leave North Carolina alive if they can get away with it” added Dillon. “I look over my shoulder everyday here in Indiana because I know those boys. I was one of them, I hate to admit.”
Dillon appears to have good reason for his concerns. And Barker’s campaign of threats and intimidation do not come as a surprise to anyone who knows Barker or reviewed his recent criminal history. Barker has been arrested for “communicating threats”, “intimidation”, “assault with a deadly weapon”, and “malicious arson” for burning down the home of a rival—all charges connected to people Barker had conflicts with at the time.
Barker was arrested in 2007 for “threats and intimidation when he did threaten to physically injure the person of Joey Belton by writing him a letter stating that the next time he sees him he would blow his head off,” according to Eden, North Carolina police department records.
On Christmas eve, 2008 Barker was arrested and charged with “maliciously burning the dwelling house inhabited by” a man he was angry with. “We found Barker’s electronic discount card—the kind you swipe at the cash register at Wal-Mart each time you buy something—at the fire scene, which traced back to Barker,” said Rockingham County Fire Marshal Robert Cardwell in an interview. “When we went to talk to him, he was so drunk we couldn’t understand half of what he was saying. He was popping open new beer cans through the whole interview. He was very upset and said the man deserved it because he had been sleeping with his wife.”
“I think Mr. Barker has a problem with alcohol,” the fire marshal concluded.
But neither the Caswell County district attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the case, nor the Caswell County Sheriff’s office, who are the investigators for the prosecution, appear to have taken any measures to sanction Barker since both offices were offered copies last week of what other criminal defense attorney’s say are clear violations of laws prohibiting threatening or intimidating victims or witnesses in a criminal case.
The Caswell County District Attorney’s office and Sheriff’s office have not returned numerous calls and emails asking for comment.
In a March 7 interview Dillon says he has never been contacted by the Caswell County district attorney, the sheriff’s office, or the North Carolina victim’s rights system, SAVAN, which automatically inform crime victims if their alleged assailants have been released from custody, since Barker was released on pre trial bond on February 16.
But the Caswell County District Attorney’s office Victim/Witness coordinator said in an interview March 6 “I spoke to the victim last Friday and I am not aware he had any concerns.”
“That is a damn lie!” said Dillon when informed what the district attorney’s office had told a reporter. “I had a deep conversation with the assistant district attorney who called me on Monday February 13 to ask me if I opposed bail reduction for Barker,” said Dillon in an interview. “I told her in no uncertain terms I am in fear of my life and was very concerned about him getting out of jail and opposed any bond reduction. We talked for at least 30 minutes. That was the last I have heard anything from the prosecutors office.”
“Barker’s threats make me very nervous about going down there to testify,” said Dillon in another interview on March 3 from his Indiana home. “Especially because the Sheriff and prosecutors office aren’t doing anything about them. They have fancy lawyers and they say if I go down there to testify I will be arrested and charged for something and it will be me going to jail.”
Barker has an impressive record of convincing authorities to not lock him up while thumbing his nose at them.
CHRISTOPHER BARKER AND THE FBI
One reason Christopher Barker is not in prison is he has been an undercover informant for the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force since at least August 2012, confidential FBI documents, federal court records, and interviews with law enforcement sources familiar with Barker show.
In the summer of that year, a New York man, Glenn Scott Crawford, joined Barker’s Loyal White Knights seeking support for building a mobile nuclear device he planned to use to terrorize Muslim communities in the United States.
The authorities had been watching the would-be super villain since earlier in 2012 when he approached the Israeli consulate in New York City, showed up at a synagogue and Jewish community center in upstate New York, called his Congressman, and joined another Ku Klux Klan faction asking each for their support for his plan to build a deadly X-ray device. All of whom immediately contacted law enforcement—but except Christopher Barker who invited him to North Carolina to discuss his terrorist plot.
“Crawford came down to an event we had in Tennessee in 2012,” said United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard Cole Thornton in an interview. “Some of my members came to me and said this new fellow was talking about his plan to build a nuclear bomb and he was making them very uncomfortable. They thought he might be a FBI agent,” said Thornton, who has been active in the Ku Klux Klan for decades. “I listened to the guy and said ‘Hold on. I think I know who can help you. Don’t say anything to anybody until I get back with you.’ I then went and called the FBI and said ‘we have this nut case here talking about making a nuclear bomb and we don’t want anything to do with him. He is your problem.’ That was the last I heard of him.”
Glenn Scott Crawford then approached Christopher Barker of the Loyal White Knights and joined his Klan group hoping for support. Crawford contacted Barker, “unbeknownst to the government,” according to the FBI, and the two began to collaborate. “Between July and August 2012, (Crawford) sought the assistance of” Barker and “presented his plan to weaponize an industrial strength X-ray system to his Klan group in the hope that his Klan organization would provide him the funding necessary” in a “plan to kill human beings by insidiously poisoning them with lethal doses of radiation….”
On July 2, Crawford, who worked as an engineer for General Electric, was invited by Barker to attend two upcoming Klan events in Maryland and North Carolina, according to a series of email exchanges between Crawford and Barker obtained during this investigation.
On July 19, Crawford sent a reply email to Barker writing he would be unable to attend either “get together, but if possible, may I visit you and share the things I wanted to at the meeting?” according to copies of the email exchange obtained by this reporter.
On July 25 Barker replied to Crawford’s email, writing, “call me”, and listed two of his private cell phone numbers.
Two days after speaking with Barker, by phone, Crawford emailed an undercover FBI agent in upstate New York who had infiltrated Crawford’s inner circle at 6:55 pm on July 27, 2012: “Get a hold of (Chris Barker) of the Loyal White Knights, 1-336-xxx-xxxx. The Knights [Barker’s group] may have the resources to invest and bring the project to fulfillment,” wrote Crawford, according to emails obtained from now unsealed Northern District of New York federal court records.
That caught the attention of the FBI. It was the first the FBI was aware of Barker’s connection to the terrorist conspiracy, and they acted immediately to take Barker into custody.
Three days later, on July 30, 2012, an earlier unconnected indictment against Barker for illegal weapons possession was activated. That charge was a pretext to take Barker into federal custody.
The next day, July 31, a sealed federal arrest warrant was issued, and on August 7, 2012, Barker was arrested by the United States Marshall Service on federal charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and held as a “federal prisoner” at Forsyth County, North Carolina county jail.
Three days later, Barker called up the FBI from jail and he made the FBI an offer they did not refuse. The FBI intervened with the Federal Middle District Court of North Carolina to seal all of the court records in the case.
In exchange for Barker’s full cooperation to work covertly for the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to bring charges against the New York man, Glen Scott Crawford, the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force promised Barker they would use their considerable powers to keep Christopher Barker out of jail.
“At the original sentencing, the court departed from the applicable guideline range of 12 to 18 months to a sentence of 2 months as a result of the defendants substantial assistance,” one 2016 federal court document reads. “The original sentence was below the advisory guideline system for reasons other than those identified as authorized departures.”
Barker has been held on a short leash by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force ever since, according to federal court records and federal and other law enforcement familiar with Barker’s arrangement.
Christopher Barker served only six days in a county lockup—and later an additional 9 days in another North Carolina county jail—after pleading guilty to the federal charges sentencing guidelines say carry a mandatory 10 years in a federal penitentiary.
At the request of the government, “the defendant is ordered released upon procession,” wrote U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Middle District of North Carolina Jo Elizabeth Peake on August 23, 2012. That same day, “August 23, 2012, Crawford met with CW (Barker) in a small town in North Carolina and described the radiation emitting device he wanted to acquire. During the conversation, Crawford solicited financial support for acquiring the device, and requested that the CW meet with other KKK groups and officials to solicit them to acquire financial assistance to build his device,” read FBI documents presented to the Northern District of New York Federal court during Crawford’s trial in 2015.
Because most of Barker’s federal court records for the 2012 possession of a firearm by a felon arrest remain sealed, many of the details of the courtroom arguments by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on behalf of the FBI and Barker to the judge remain somewhat opaque.
However, court records show Barker never was incarcerated in a federal facility—or anywhere else beyond a few days.
Barker’s “original sentence” of “2 months imprisonment followed by three (3) years supervised release” for Possession of a Firearm by a Felon was imposed on August 27, 2013, according to federal court documents. Federal Middle District of North Carolina court records show Barker was ordered to surrender at 2:00pm on October 18, 2013. “Upon release from imprisonment, the defendant shall be on supervised release for a term of three (3) years.”
But other records from the same court show that Barker never spent even two months incarcerated. “Mr. Barker was released from custody on October 27, 2013, and his term of supervised release began on that date,” wrote his federal probation officer James Long in a report to the federal judge.
His supervised probation “commenced (on) October 27, 2013” read another federal court document–9 days after he turned himself in to serve his jail sentence. Further, court and federal probation office reports show his probation officer visited him at home in Eden, North Carolina three days after that on October 30, 2013, indicating Barker served no more than nine days in a North Carolina county lockup. This is confirmed by other federal Probation office documents that show Barker’s three-year probation “supervision expires (on) October 26, 2016.”
But what happened after Barker was freed on strict conditions of federal probation at the end of October 2013 illustrate his remarkable ability to convince law enforcement and federal authorities that he should not be locked up for the series of crimes and violations of his supervised probation since then.
Strict terms of Chris Barker’s federal probation were set by judge James A Beaty of the Middle District of North Carolina federal court, federal documents from 2012, 2013, and 2016 show.
These conditions included Barker could “not associate with or be in the company of gang member/ security threat group member, including the Ku Klux Klan”; “not frequent any locations where gangs/security threat groups congregate or meet”; not “wear or display, use or possess any clothing or accessories which have any gang or security threat group significance;”; “not commit another local, state, or federal crime”; was required to “abstain from any use of alcoholic beverages”; “not leave the judicial district without the permission of the court or probation officer”; “work regularly at a lawful occupation”; “notify the probation officer within 72 hours of being arrested or questioned by a law enforcement officer”; and “not enter into any kind of agreement to act as an informer or special agent of a law enforcement agency without the permission of the court.”
Barker has violated each of these conditions—altogether on at least one hundred occasions documented by this investigation–in the three years he has been under the supervision of the U.S. Federal Probation Office, according to his federal probation officer, federal court documents, North Carolina law enforcement records, and members of Barker’s Loyal White Knights Klan group, and other data, interviews, and documents compiled in this investigation show.
Since he began his federal probation, Barker has been accused of assaulting his wife on at least six occasions, according to federal court documents, North Carolina law enforcement, Barker’s own probation officer, and other Ku Klux Klan members.
In 2012, Barker was charged with “assault with a deadly weapon, a rifle by putting the gun to her head while threatening to kill her. The defendant also assaulted her by hitting her on the shoulder knocking her to the floor causing her to hit her head,” according to Eden North Carolina police incident reports obtained in this investigation.
On December 12, 2014, the Caswell County Sheriff’s Department responded to a 911 call from Amanda Barker “who reported that Mr Barker had assaulted her by pulling her hair” and “had gone outside and jerked the exhaust pipe off their wood stove and threatened to burn down their house,” federal court documents from 2016 say.
“On August 6, 2015 at 5:18 am, Ms. Barker called 911 and reported that Mr. Barker had assaulted her and was in his truck trying to ram her vehicle,” reads a report to a Middle District of North Carolina federal court submitted by Barker’s federal probation officer in a petition to revoke Barker’s probation in May 2016. “Ms. Barker reported that Mr. Barker had hit her on the forehead.”
Later that same morning, Mr. Barker was arrested twice in two separate incidents by different law enforcement agencies for driving while intoxicated—having achieved the remarkable feat of violating the conditions of his probation at least 4 times in one day and sleeping in his own bed that same night.
After Ms. Barker called 911 that morning saying Barker assaulted her, Caswell County Sheriff Deputy J Dickerson “spotted Mr. Barker and initiated a traffic stop on Highway 86” and “reported a strong odor of alcohol as he approached the truck and Mr. Barker appeared intoxicated.” The sheriff’s deputy “noticed a wet spot in the floorboard where Mr. Barker had spilled or poured out the liquor. An empty liquor bottle and an aluminum baseball bat were also in the cab of the truck.” Barker refused a Breathalyzer test and was arrested but “was released to his father’s custody at about 9:53 am,” according to a report by his probation officer to a federal judge in 2016.
Less than an hour later, at 10:42 am, Barker was seen “operating his 1979 Ford truck on NC Highway 700, by North Carolina Highway Patrol Officer B. Myers.” According to the arrest report, Barker drove past “Myers and pulled into the parking lot of the ABC store,” the government Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission owned store which has the monopoly on retail liquor sales in the state. “Mr. Barker had red and glassy eyes, his speech was slurred, and he had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Mr. Barker again refused to provide a breath sample for testing” and was arrested, but was released again and did not spend that night in jail, according to documents submitted in April 2016 to the federal District Court of Middle North Carolina.
BARKER AND HIS WORK AS IMPERIAL WIZARD OF THE LOYAL WHITE KNIGHTS OF THE KU KLUX KLAN WHILE WORKING FOR THE FBI
Court documents indicate it is the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which represented the FBI, that opposed revoking Barker’s probation–not the Federal Probation Office, which reports independently to the federal court. “We have had ongoing discussions with the Assistant United States Attorney in this case and have had some differences of opinion regarding the interpretation of the special condition wording and what is a violation,” wrote James Long, Barker’s probation officer in an April 2016 petition to the court requesting Barker’s probation status be revoked and he be jailed.
Barker’s federal probation officer James Long documented 19 instances of Barker violating the conditions of his supervised probation in a report to Judge Beaty in April 2016. “Mr Barker reports that his family’s main source of income prior to his federal conviction was revenue generated by his affiliation with the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. During the term of supervision, Mr. Barker has openly discussed his intentions to re-establish ties and associations withe KKK upon the completion of supervision,” wrote Long to the court. “When confronted by most inquiries about his involvement with the KKK, Mr. Barker typically responds by denying or passing responsibility to his wife, Amanda Barker, who is considered to be active with the group.”
There were “differences of interpretation between our office and the government” over how to define “Klan activity,” federal probation officer James Long wrote.
It is not clear how the U.S. government defined Klan activity, but an overwhelming body of evidence shows that Christopher Barker spent his uninterrupted full-time recruiting, organizing, promoting, and holding events for his Ku Klux Klan group while on federal probation which forbid him from any involvement in the Ku Klux Klan, including “associate(ing) with or be in the company of any Ku Klux Klan” members or “frequent any locations where…(they) congregate or meet.”
Documents, interviews and photographs show Barker travelled to at least 11 states–another violation of his probation conditions that required permission from his probation officer to leave North Carolina—to attend Loyal White Knights Klan public rallies and cross burnings while on probation. Further, more than a dozen gatherings of Klansmen from across the country were held at Barker’s home in North Carolina, many of them including cross burnings and public Klan demonstrations held in front of area court houses that required permits from local authorities and attracted national media attention.
On November 12, 2012 only weeks after Barker’s meeting with Crawford and undercover FBI agents in a Greensboro hotel room, Barker’s Loyal White Knights held a demonstration in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina on the courthouse steps. The official permit to hold the rally was issued in the name of Barker’s wife, Amanda. The high-profile event, which drew hundreds of counter protestors and media, was included a contingent from the largest Nazi organization in the U.S., the National Socialist Movement, who praised Barker and their alliance with Barker’s KKK group. “NSM members, supporters, and our friends from the Loyal White Knights of the KKK gathered in Charlotte,” wrote the NSM. “Thank you and a Salute to the men and ladies from the Loyal White Knights for the solidarity. You are all truly dedicated, and it was an honor to work with The LWK once again.”
Despite being forbidden from leaving North Carolina without permission from his probation officer, Barker travelled outside of North Carolina on at least 14 occasions to Loyal White Knights Klan events during his federal probation between 2013 and the end of 2016. Barker attended at least three LWK Klan organized events in Georgia in 2015 and 2016, one in Florida in January 2015, one in Mississippi, two in Alabama in 2015 and 2016, one in South Carolina in July 2015, one in Indiana in May of 2014, one in Illinois in August 2015, one in Arkansas in 2015, one in West Virginia on April 26, 2014, as well as others, according to documents and photographs which show Barker at these locations obtained during this investigation, and interviews with more than two dozen Ku Klux Klan members who were also in attendance.
When asked whether the U.S. Office of Probation granted Barker permission to travel outside of North Carolina to attend Ku Klux Klan functions, Barker’s supervisory probation officer Edward Cameron said “Absolutely not. We never would have or did grant him that permission to travel.”
But Christopher Barker did travel outside North Carolina to KKK events routinely throughout his supervised probation which forbid him to do so, and left an impression with many he encountered, according to more than two dozen interviews with other KKK members and law enforcement.
“In May of 2014, I was with Chris and Amanda in Indiana at a LWK event,” said then LWK Illinois Grand Dragon Paul Peck in an interview. “Chris said he would be in a world of problem if anyone found out he was here because his probation didn’t allow him to leave North Carolina or be uninvolved in Klan activity.”
In January 2015, Barker travelled to Florida to a gathering of the LWK in that state. “He was stumbling around drunk, berating other LWK members saying the Klan was a big joke, and left without paying for his hotel or food bills,” said one LWK Grand Dragon in an interview. “Several people left the LWK in disgust after that. And the same thing has happened before that and since then.”
Caswell County Sheriff’s Department Detective Hudson contacted Barker’s federal probation officer on February 19, 2015 to report that they had investigated a cross burning at the Barker’s residence on January 31, 2015, according to federal court documents.
On October 24, 2015, Barker held a KKK event at his home where a cross was again burned, according to LWK members who attended the gathering. “That day two people got in a serious argument and there were knives pulled. Barker was drunk. He was always drunk,” said one former LWK member from North Carolina who was present.
In May 2016, Barker went to Georgia for a public demonstration the LWK and the National Socialist Movement jointly organized at Stone Mountain and another event in Rome, Georgia. “Barker showed up drunk at Stone Mountain. He was running around exposing himself,” said one LWK leader who was at both events. “It is the same story at every event he is at.”
“In Rome, he trashed the motel room, punched holes in the wall, broke the bed and furniture, and beat the Hell out of his wife,” said Paul Peck, the former Illinois LWK Grand Dragon who was also responsible for 11 mid-western states for the Klan group.
“I picked Barker up at his home in North Carolina and I drove him to Georgia,” said Richard Dillon, the Klan member from Indiana who was stabbed in Barker’s house in December 3, 2016. “We picked up two members from Georgia and drove to another rally in Alabama. Barker was drunk the whole time. He never slept. Quite a few people were upset because he was leaving liquor bottles on the podium and alter, using foul language, and exposing himself and peeing wherever he wanted to. There were family and kids around,” said Dillon.
Perhaps the most public of Barker’s Klan organizing efforts while under supervised federal probation was the public demonstration he organized at the South Carolina state capitol building on July 18, 2015 days after the mass murder by a white supremacist of nine black parishioners in a South Carolina church.
Barker organized the incendiary demonstration, intentionally designed to fan the flames of racial strife, after Dylan Roof executed 9 church parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina in June. “The KKK would like to say hail victory to the young warrior in South Carolina, Dylan S. Roof, who decided to do what the Bible told him,” Barker said in a voice recording on his 800 number Klan “hotline” shortly after the South Carolina church shooting. “If we had 10,000 more men like this young man, America would not be in the shape that it is in now.”
By the spring of 2016, Barker’s probation officer had seen enough and, independent of the U.S. assistant district attorney who had resisted every effort to revoke Barker’s probation up to then, the federal probation office petitioned the court asking that his probation be revoked and he be sent to prison. “It is recommended that Mr. Barker’s supervised release be revoked and that he be sentenced to the high-end of the range of the Chapter 7 policy statements. The recommendation is based on his continued association and involvement with the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and his putting the public at risk by his driving while impaired,” wrote U.S. Probation Officer James W. Long and approved by his then Supervisory U.S. Probation Officer Bradley G. Whitely in a petition to the federal judge in North Carolina.
On June 6, federal court judge James A Beatty, Jr. agreed, declaring Barker “posed a danger to the community” and issued a warrant for his arrest on June 8.
But shortly after Barker was taken into custody in early July and remanded to the Greensboro, North Carolina county jail as a “federal prisoner”, the U.S. Department of Justice, which oversees both federal prosecutors and the FBI, requested court hearings sealed from the public with the judge and shortly thereafter Barker was ordered released.
“The Court concluded that continuing the defendant on supervised release, modifying the terms of supervised release to include three months of home confinement, and adding an additional supervised release term of one year (to run at the expiration of the defendant’s current supervised release term) would be appropriate in this case,” wrote Judge Beaty in his decision in an August, 25 2016 court decision. “IT IS ORDERED that the defendant be continued on supervision under the terms and conditions previously imposed by this Court. IT IS ORDERED that the supervised release term be modified to include a period of home detention for three (3) months. IT IS ORDERED that the defendant serve an additional supervised release term of one year (to run at the expiration of the defendant’s current supervised release term).”
On December 3, 2016, while Christopher Barker was still under strict conditions of supervised federal probation, he was arrested and charged with ”assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injuries”—the North Carolina equivalent of attempted murder—for his role in stabbing a long time Klansman Richard Dillon of Indiana in Barker’s dining room in Yanceyville, North Carolina.
The FBI had made it clear to the U.S. Office of Probation that they would oppose any effort to incarcerate Barker, and his probation officers knew that it was a Sisyphean struggle to attempt to do their jobs.
So, on December 15 they petitioned the federal court with an extraordinary request: to cancel their hard-fought request to revoke Barker’s probation and remand him to a federal penitentiary they had made less than six months earlier. “It is the recommendation of the probation officer that Mr Barker’s supervision be terminated at this time,” wrote Long to the same judge he had previously recommended Barker’s probation be revoked when he deemed him a “danger to the public.”
“Prior to his original expiration date, the probation officer realized that Mr. Barker was originally sentenced to the maximum amount of supervised release allowed by the statute for a Class C Felony, which would impact options available during any further revocation hearings. On November 2, 2016, the probation officer submitted a memorandum to the Court explaining the details of the aforementioned situation,” the probation office wrote. “At the time of his original expiration date of October 26, 2016, Mr. Barker was in compliance with his supervision.”
But no such November document to the court exists, said the office of the Middle District of North Carolina clerk of courts.
“We have no record of receiving such a memorandum and it is not filed in the court docket” said the clerk of court for the Middle District of North Carolina federal court March 3. “If the document existed, we would have it in our files and it would listed on the docket, even if the contents were sealed. I suggest you ask the U.S. probation office about that because we have no record of it.”
“Anytime you ask a judge to do something, it is filed on the docket,” said criminal defense attorney Dan Margolis,” I have never heard anything like what you describe as happening before.. Margolis, a practicing defense attorney in Cleveland for 20 years, has no connection to Barker’s criminal court cases.
Requests to obtain a copy of the November 2 memorandum were not successful. “In general, the Court does not release documents unless there is a compelling reason to do so,” wrote Melissa Alexander, chief United States Probation Officer for the Middle District of North Carolina Court. “The only documents that are part of the public record in a case are those filed with the Clerk’s office. ”
But Loyal White Knights documents and communications from Barker himself obtained in this investigation show that Barker was hard at work conducting his KKK work throughout that period when he was supposed to be under even more vigilant scrutiny, including the month of October, 2016.
“To all members who do recruiting calls let’s be a little lighter on those people trying to join. Some people are being to ruff. We are trying to build this group to be a political force, not destroy it,” wrote Barker to his loyalists on a confidential internal members only chat room on October 12, 2016. “Stop being so rough unless we know they are nigger lovers.”
“Hitting the college campus really got the Jewish professors in an uproar,” Barker wrote in another October message to his members.
“At the time of his original expiration date of October 26, 2016, Mr. Barker was in compliance with his supervision,” wrote his probation officer. But four days before Barker’s federal probation was originally set to expire, Christopher Barker was holding a cross burning ceremony at his home in Yanceyville, North Carolina. “May God shine his light on all our men and women at the cross lighting ceremony tonight,” Barker wrote in a confidential message to his members. “For those of you that this is the first time, Yahweh will touch you on the shoulder and bless you in the upcoming battle.”
Judge James Beaty approved the request of the probation office in December, despite it contradicting his conclusion June 23, 2016, five months earlier: “the defendant has three prior convictions for driving under the influence, and while on supervised release, he evidently again drove intoxicated, thus endangering the community. Moreover, the record reveals that the defendant has re-associated himself with gang members/security threat group members, and worn, displayed, used, and/or possessed clothing and accessories signifying those associations. In sum, when the defendant abuses substances and pursues affiliation with security threat groups, he can quickly become involved in behavior that poses a danger to the community…if released, the defendant would pose a danger to the community.”
Less than a month after the federal judge washed their hands of the very unique case of Christopher Barker, Barker’s defence attorney successfully petitioned a North Carolina court to reduce his bond allowing him to be released, once again, from custody. She argued successfully to Judge W.O. Smith of the Caswell County Superior court that Barker “has no substantial criminal record.”
Barker was released on February 16, 2017 to his home from where he is waging a campaign of threats and intimidation of victims of crimes he is currently charged with, and those prosecution witnesses who he suspects of cooperating with law enforcement.