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Klan Member Pleads Guilty to Hate Crime in Missouri

Posted: April 26, 2004

Steven Heldenbrand
Steven Heldenbrand

A white supremacist and reputed member of the Ku Klux Klan, Steven H. Heldenbrand, has pleaded guilty to a civil rights conspiracy charge in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Missouri, for his role in attacking two African-American men at a restaurant in 2001.

Heldenbrand, 26, who also pleaded guilty to a state charge of assault as a hate crime, admitted he was one of five men who beat and stabbed Maurice Wilson at a Denny's restaurant in 2001. The other victim, Kenny Wright, suffered less severe injuries.

Heldenbrand is currently serving time in prison for violating his probation.

Two other co-defendants, Michael Shane McCormick and Mark Thomas Kooms, pleaded guilty to similar charges earlier this month. They are both members of the Springfield-based Midland Hammerskins, a branch of the Hammerskin Nation, reputed to be the most violent and best-organized neo-Nazi skinhead group in the U.S.

Related Material
Five Men Charged in Racially Motivated Attack in Missouri

The indictment against Heldenbrand, McCormick, Kooms and two other men was handed down on January 26 after a two-and-a-half-year investigation. Heldenbrand pleaded guilty on April 21, 2004.

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