According to the Complaint, approximately one month ago, Cowart and Schlesselman met via the internet through a mutual friend and both claim to have very strong beliefs regarding "White Power" and "Skinhead" philosophy. Cowart and Schlesselman began discussing going on a "killing spree". The Complaint further alleges that Cowart and Schlesselman discussed robbing a gun shop (Federal Firearms Licensee) in order to gather weapons and ammunition. The Complaint notes the defendants were in possession of a sawed off shotgun.
On October 20, 2008, Cowart allegedly traveled from Tennessee to Arkansas to pick up Schlesselman in order to carry out their plan. The Complaint states that at this time, the defendants further discussed their killing spree to include targeting a predominately African American School and to continue their spree until their final act of violence which would be to attempt to assassinate Presidential Candidate Barack Obama.
Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tennessee and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of West Helena, Arkansas were charged in a federal complaint, Friday, October 24, 2008 announced Lawrence J. Laurenzi, acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, James Cavanaugh, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Richard Harlow, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service- Memphis Field Office and Troy Klyce, Sheriff of Crockett County. The Criminal Complaint charges Cowart and Schlesselman with the illegal Possession of a Sawed off Shotgun, Conspiracy to Rob a Federal Firearms Licensee, and Making Threats Against a Major Candidate for the Office of President.
There is no charge about conspiring to kill black teenagers.
One of my friends claims that sometimes major charges are withheld in court cases for strategic reasons that I don't understand, so it's conceivable that my outrage is misplaced.
Even so, wouldn't it have shown more respect for the people of this country to withhold the charge about robbing the gun store and put the spree killing charge up front?