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Metzger Tells Court He Didn’t Plan Cross-Burning

Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon Tom Metzger testified Thursday that he knew a cross-burning would take place at a 1983 Klan rally in Kagel Canyon and that he might be arrested for attending, but decided to stay because he believed he was doing nothing illegal.

Metzger testified during a second day of cross-examination in Los Angeles Superior Court that he attended the rally only to deliver a speech and had nothing to do with planning the rally.

Metzger and three other defendants are charged with felony conspiracy to violate the municipal fire code and misdemeanor counts of unlawful burning and unlawful assembly. If found guilty, they face a maximum sentence of 3 1/2 years in jail. The prosecution has maintained that Metzger and the other defendants planned the cross-burning as a way to provoke a violent clash in the racially mixed neighborhood.


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