Posted: January 28, 2003
Four people with ties to the Klu Klux Klan have been charged with the murder of an unidentified man whose decomposed body was found buried in a field in Sampson County, North Carolina, on January 2.
Among those charged is Sharon Renee Barefoot, 37, the estranged wife of a North Carolina KKK leader Charles Robert Barefoot, Jr. On January 10, investigators seized a bloodstained van at her Benson, North Carolina, home that they believe is connected to the slaying.
Barefoot was charged two weeks later along with Mark Anthony Denning, 24, of Newport, North Carolina. According to authorities, Denning belonged to another KKK group. Also charged were Marvin Glen Gautier, 50, of Benson, North Carolina, and Michael Anthony Brewer, 30, of Lumberton, North Carolina. Gautier was a member of Charles Barefoot's Klan faction and Brewer is the "Grand Dragon" of a Klan group based in Robeson County, North Carolina.
According to a search warrant from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, a witness who had been involved with the groups led authorities to the body.
Sampson County Chief Deputy John Conerly said that weapons and Klan paraphernalia were recovered from Michael Anthony Brewer's home. According to the warrant, Brewer said the victim needed to die because he knew about threats made by Brewer to local law enforcement officers.
Sampson County Sheriff Jim Thornton said the killing appeared to be linked to an alleged July 2002 Klan plot to blow up government offices in Johnston County, North Carolina.
Charles Robert Barefoot, Jr., 40, the self-styled "Grand Dragon" of the Nation's Knights of the KKK, in Benson, North Carolina, was arrested by Federal and local law enforcement officers on July 19, 2002, for allegedly plotting to blow up the Johnston County Sheriff's Office, the sheriff himself, and the county jail.
Following the arrest, authorities searched Barefoot's home near Benson, North Carolina, discovering a cache of at least two dozen weapons that included handguns, rifles, an Uzi and an AK-47. They also found two homemade bombs as well as bomb-making ingredients such as ether, detonating cord and fuses.
Charles Barefoot, currently being held on a federal firearms charge, was questioned by investigators about the murder, but has not been charged.