Federal appeals court backs conviction of white supremacist

Federal appeals court backs conviction of white supremacist

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DENVER (AP) -- A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction of white-supremacist sympathizer involved in threatening a prosecutor.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Joe Rakes' argument that evidence at his trial wasn't enough to show he had encouraged a coconspirator to write a letter in 2004 threatening "we will get you."

The letter was mailed to an assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting a dozen men associated with the Soldiers of the Aryan Culture.

Also Wednesday, the appeals court turned back a complaint that a judge improperly rejected a plea bargain for Rakes based on a then-undisclosed victim impact statement from the prosecutor.

The plea bargain would have given Rakes a nine-month sentence; he's serving five years and three months in prison.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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