Jury convicts white supremacist in Arizona bombing

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 24, 2012 7:28 PM
Jury convicts white supremacist in Arizona bombing

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A federal jury on Friday found one of two white supremacist twins guilty of a 2004 package bombing that injured a black city administrator in Arizona.

Dennis Mahon, 61, was found guilty of three explosives and conspiracy related charges stemming from the race-related attack almost exactly eight years ago on Don Logan, the then-head of the diversity office for the city of Scottsdale.

But the jury acquitted Daniel Mahon, his identical twin brother, of a single charge of conspiracy to damage buildings and property by means of explosives, following a six-week trial in U.S. District Court in Phoenix.

The Mahon brothers were arrested in 2009 at their home in Davis Junction, Illinois, following a five-year investigation.

Logan, head of Scottsdale's Office of Diversity and Dialogue, suffered injuries to his hand when he opened the package bomb at his office. At least one other worker was also injured in the blast.

Following the verdict on Friday, Logan told Reuters he had "mixed emotions that will take ... some time to process."

"I appreciate the guilty verdict for Dennis Mahon but I'm disappointed with the jury's position that there wasn't enough evidence to treat this attack as a hate crime," he told Reuters in an email.

"To me, this case is a hallmark case for a hate crime and while I respect the jury's decision, I disagree. Time cures all," he added.

Dennis Mahon's attorney, Deborah Williams, declined comment on the verdict.

Authorities maintained that the Mahons acted on behalf of the White Aryan Resistance, a group that they charged promoted racial discord against non-Whites.

But the bombing claims were disputed by defense attorneys during the trial, saying that someone else must have been responsible.

They also criticized the government for using a confidential informant to make its case, calling the woman "a trailer park Mata Hari" - a reference to the Dutch exotic dancer shot for espionage in 1917.

Dennis Mahon is scheduled to be sentenced on May 22 on counts of conspiracy to damage buildings and property by means of explosives; of malicious damage of a building by means of explosives; and distribution of information related to explosives.

When sentenced, he faces up to 100 years in jail and fines of up to $500,000, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

(Editing and additional reporting by Tim Gaynor)