Jury in AZ bombing case see informant's racy pics

AP News
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Posted: Jan 20, 2012 7:51 PM
Jury in AZ bombing case see informant's racy pics

Defense attorneys for two white supremacist brothers accused of bombing a black city official in Scottsdale showed jurors racy photos Friday of a government informant chosen in hopes her good looks would get the men to talk.

Identical twin brothers Dennis and Daniel Mahon, both 61, have pleaded not guilty in the 2004 bombing, which injured Scottsdale's diversity director and a secretary.

Defense attorneys spent much of Friday trying to criticize the conduct of the government informant, a civilian who works at a motorcycle shop and is identified in court records as Rebecca Williams.

Among the photos Daniel Mahon's attorney showed jurors was one that showed the pretty brunette from behind, wearing Confederate flag bikini bottoms, a black leather vest, ripped fishnet stockings and thigh-high black boots. Another showed her in a white bikini with a grenade hanging between her breasts as she posed in front of a pickup truck and a swastika.

Williams mailed the photos to Dennis Mahon to allay his fears that she was working with the government, investigators said.

A third photo shown to the jurors was taken by Dennis Mahon himself at a hotel in Tempe. It shows Williams sitting on a towel, wearing a Confederate flag bikini and smiling _ a photo the defense said was as an example of the kind of clothes Williams wore around the brothers.

Defense attorney Barbara Hull has told jurors that all the Mahons are guilty of is participating in "a conspiracy of lust," and that they only made some admissions to Williams to impress her.

She also has called Williams a "trailer park Mata Hari," comparing her to a Dutch exotic dancer who was convicted of working as a spy for Germany during World War I.

Prosecutors have defended the informant's behavior, saying she often flirted with the brothers but never had sex with them or crossed any other lines.

On Friday, Hull continued to question Tristan Moreland, the lead investigator in the Mahon case for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

She asked him why Williams sent the Mahons the racy photos and letters in which she referred to the Scottsdale bombing.

Moreland said that the letters _ also known as "ticklers" _ are designed to get suspects to start talking about a certain subject.

"What about the Christmas card with a half-naked picture of the informant?" Hull asked Moreland. "What was that supposed to tickle?"

Hull continued to reiterate to jurors that Williams was compensated for her meetings and conversations with the Mahons _ about $45,000 over a five-year period _ and she was promised $100,000 should the brothers be convicted.

Hull also questioned Moreland's investigative techniques, saying that the box and batteries used in the bombing were uncommon brands used by the city of Scottsdale _ an argument she made to back up her assertion in opening statements that a city employee most likely committed the bombing.

Prosecutor John Boyle has told jurors that the brothers belonged to the White Aryan Resistance, a group that encourages members to act as "lone wolves" and commit violence against non-whites and the government to get their message across.

Boyle played a recording of a message left at the diversity office by Dennis Mahon five months before the bombing, criticizing Scottsdale for holding a Hispanic heritage event and using a racial epithet for Hispanics.

"The white Aryan resistance is growing in Scottsdale," Dennis Mahon said angrily. "There's a few white people who are standing up."

Boyle also has played recordings of the brothers using racial slurs for black people and pointing out the bombing site to Williams while they were in Scottsdale under a ruse that she had to pay a speeding ticket.

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