A federal judge in Davenport, Kansas, has sentenced four individuals to prison for a December 2007 attack on African-American men at a motel bar in Muscatine, Iowa.
On September 15, 2009, the judge sentenced Timothy "Shark" Ketner, 29, to three years in prison, and Pistol Holliday, 33, who cooperated with authorities, to 18 months. Both men pleaded guilty in January to the charge of interference with federally protected activities for violating the civil rights of the victims.
According to the indictment, the defendants' actions were committed to "willfully injure, intimidate and interfere, and attempt to injure, intimidate and interfere," two African-American men, and that the defendants used "force and threat of force, resulting in bodily injury" because of the victims' race and color.
Previously, in July 2009, a federal judge sentenced two other defendants, Jeffery "Python" Lee, 27, and Wendie Groen, 29, to prison for their role in the same crime. Lee pleaded guilty to two counts of interfering with federally protected facilities for assaulting the two men and received 45 months in prison, while Groen pleaded guilty to interfering with federally protected facilities for assaulting one of the same victims and received 33 months.
On December 13, 2007, the four defendants were at a motel bar in Muscatine when two African-American men (who did not know each other) entered. All four began making racial slurs, questioning why the men were allowed in the bar based on their race, and making reference to the white supremacist group Aryan Nations. The group moved to the bar next to the first victim, at which point Lee punched the man and knocked him off the bar stool. As the man attempted to get away, Lee attacked him while others yelled racist comments.
The group, egged on by Groen, then approached the second victim, who was standing by a pool table, and kicked and punched him while shouting racial slurs. When this victim also tried to get away, Lee followed him and continued the assault.
As part of the plea agreements, each defendant admitted that the attack was motivated by the race of the victims.
The investigation was conducted by the Muscatine Police Department, the Muscatine County Attorney's Office, and the FBI.