Prosecution: Defendant spewed racist comments, admitted killing

LOS ANGELES - White supremacist Buford O. Furrow Jr., accused of murdering a Filipino-American postman and shooting up a Jewish center, spewed racist hatred on the day of his arrest, admitted the killing and said he would kill all nonwhites if he could, the government alleged Tuesday.

Furrow also declared himself to be ''at war with the Jewish-controlled federal government'' and said he hoped others would emulate his actions by committing crimes similar those committed on Aug. 10, 1999, federal prosecutors said in a motion.

They added, ''The defendant explicitly stated that he is not sorry for his crimes.''

The 61-page government document was one of two filed in support of the federal effort to seek the death penalty for Furrow. In all, there were 111 pages of arguments submitted to U.S. District Judge Nora Manella, recently appointed to take over the case.

Prosecutors also disclosed that two months after his incarceration last summer, Furrow threatened to kill a Latino prison inmate and guards assigned to his housing unit.

In addition, they said, he threatened the life of the woman he referred to as his wife and her son, ''including a threat to deliver the son's head to her on a platter.''

Furrow is charged with killing letter carrier Joseph Ileto just hours after allegedly wounding three boys, a teen-age girl and a woman at the North Valley Jewish Community Center last Aug. 10.

Furrow has pleaded innocent and his team of public defenders has launched an effort to save him from the death penalty. They have argued that the federal death penalty statute is unconstitutional and that the factors presented to justify it in the Furrow case were too vague.

The government responded with more specifics as well as a mountain of case law citations to support its position.

Among points in the government briefs was evidence of hate-crime motivation. The prosecutors said that after Furrow surrendered to the FBI in Las Vegas he told them he had killed Ileto because he was not white.

''During an interview with law enforcement authorities ... the defendant described Joseph Santos Ileto as a 'Chink or Spic' and referred to Mr. Ileto as a 'target of opportunity' to murder,''' the motion said.

Furrow further admitted in the interviews that he wanted to send a message of racial hatred and to instill fear in other nonwhite persons across the country, the document said.

As for the question of whether Furrow would be a future danger, the prosecutors said, ''The defendant stated that if he could kill all nonwhite persons, he would not hesitate to do so.''

They said that Furrow's statements after he surrendered were not ''fleeting or spontaneous reactions'' but rather ''deliberate and callous statements he made to federal agents after reflecting on his crimes overnight, watching television coverage of the incidents and deciding to surrender so that his boastful message could be communicated to others.''

Furrow has a history of treatment for mental illness but the defense has not yet said if it will present a mental illness defense. The lawyers are under court order to state their intentions in that regard by June 26 and to disclose the names of any experts they may use to show that Furrow was not in his right mind at the time of the shootings.

The next hearing on the death penalty issue is scheduled for June 5.

A key lawyer on Furrow's defense team is Judy Clarke, a federal public defender who handled the Unabomber case. Defendant Theodore Kaczynski was allowed to plead guilty and received a life sentence after evidence showed he suffered from schizophrenia. Rulings in the Kaczynski case were cited in the Furrow case briefs.


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