UPDATE: Jacqueline Perez, the interim district attorney for Person and Caswell counties, says she had no involvement warrants being taken out against Richard Dillon, the victim of an alleged assault involving Loyal White Knight of the Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard Chris Barker. Dillon, a Klansman from Indiana, has said that Barker’s wife, Amanda, took out the warrants against him.
“You’re talking about a civilian-generated warrant,” Perez said. “There are cross-warrants. It does need to be an offense that is alleged to a magistrate’s satisfaction. It’s a legal practice. I certainly wouldn’t comment on the magistrate signing off on the warrant.”
Perez indicated that she is aware of Barker’s notoriety in the aftermath of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 12.
“We had our court date, and then the whole Charlottesville thing happened,” she said. “It was unfortunate timing.”
ORIGINAL POST: On Dec. 3, 2016, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan were supposed to lead a triumphal parade to celebrate the election of Donald Trump. Around mid-afternoon that day, members drove a small caravan of pickup trucks through downtown Roxboro, NC shouting, “White power!” but their imperial wizard, Chris Barker, and William Hagen, the grand dragon for California, were sitting in jail in neighboring Yanceyville on felony charges.
Hagen was charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, or ADWISI — essentially attempted murder — while Barker was charged with aiding and abetting ADWISI.
Recognized as one of the most extreme and volatile Klan groups in the country, the Loyal White Knights has attempted with mixed success to ride the rising tide of white supremacy since Trump took office, but Barker was forced to sit out a July 12 rally in Charlottesville that his outfit organized as a condition of his bond as his trial approached. But earlier this month, the Person/Caswell County District Attorney’s office dismissed the aiding and abetting charge against Barker, at a time when the Klan leader is enjoying widespread media coverage due to his inflammatory statements about the violent aftermath of the Aug. 12 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.
The violence that landed Barker in jail on the eve of the December 2016 parade to celebrate Trump’s victory took place at the home of Chris and his wife, Amanda, who serves as imperial kommander, outside Yanceyville in rural Caswell County.
As recounted in an affidavit filed by John T. Ray III, an investigator with the Caswell County Sheriff’s Office, the confrontation grew out of an ongoing dispute between Richard Dillon, a Loyal White Knights member from Indiana, and Hagen, over Hagen’s handling of a violent encounter with antiracists in Anaheim, Calif. earlier in 2016. Dillon had traveled to the Barker residence with David Winebrenner. Ray wrote that Winebrenner had gone out to their vehicle to fetch a beer for Dillon, and when he returned to the house he “noticed that the environment seemed hectic.” Dillon told Winebrenner to load up the vehicle and get ready to leave.
As previously reported in Triad City Beat:
“Dillon stated that Hagen and Barker began showing aggressive behaviors and that Barker was encouraging Hagen to fight Dillon,” Ray wrote in the affidavit. “Dillon advised that Barker continued this behavior and that Hagen eventually stood up and unsheathed a fixed-blade knife. Dillon stated that at this point he stood up and was stabbed by Hagen — two stab wounds to the upper chest area and one stab wound to the right thumb. Dillon advised that after being stabbed, he was able to fight off Hagen [and then] was struck by Barker’s fist.” Dillon said he was confronted by someone he didn’t know as he tried to fight his way towards the door.
“Still outside, Winebrenner started to worry, and began to text his friend to see why he hadn’t come out. Not long after that, Winebrenner said, Chris Barker came out of the house.
“According to Winebrenner, Barker attempted to gain entry to the vehicle and later advised Winebrenner that Dillon was dead,” Ray wrote. “Barker also advised Winebrenner that he would drive him to the ATM and withdraw $2,000 in order for Winebrenner to leave. Winebrenner stated that he denied the offer and took the keys out of the ignition [and] noticed Dillon exiting the residence and still being confronted by other unknown subjects.”
Dillon, Winebrenner and Ray were all served subpoenas and ordered to appear in court for Barker’s trial on July 31.
Court records show that the prosecutor dismissed the felony aiding and abetting ADWISI charge against Barker on Aug. 2.
Jacqueline Perez was appointed interim district attorney for Caswell and Person counties following the abrupt resignation of District Attorney Wallace Bradsher, who is accused of defrauding the state through a scheme in which he and former Rockingham County District Attorney Craig Blitzer allegedly hired each other’s wives for “no-show” positions.
Perez wrote in Barker’s dismissal that there was “insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution” because the state’s motion to continue the trial was denied. She added, “The district attorney’s office contacted the victim and he told the state he was not coming back to North Carolina to prosecute the case.”
A receptionist at the Caswell County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Triad City Beat on Friday that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Richard Dillon, the victim in the Barker case. She added that the sheriff’s office does not plan to extradite Dillon from Indiana.
Reached by phone, Dillon said he told the prosecution he was willing to testify, but he wouldn’t have been able to afford bond if he’d traveled to North Carolina and risked arrest. Dillon said Amanda Barker, the Loyal White Knights’ imperial kommander and Chris Barker’s wife, brought the charges against him.
“Tell Chris Barker: All I want is my earring back,” Dillon said. “I’m ready to jump into hell. You’re not supposed to be talking to me right now. I’m supposed to be dead.”
He added, “The guy deserves to be in prison for the rest of his life.”
A voicemail message for Barker seeking comment for this story went unreturned.
John T. Ray III, the investigator on the Barker case, declined to comment on the warrant for Dillon’s arrest, referring questions to his superior in the Caswell County Sheriff’s Office.
The felony charge against Hagan was also dropped. Hagen is currently serving a prison sentence in California for a 2015 incident in which he beat a homeless man.
Chris Barker was previously on federal probation for a possession of a firearm by a felony conviction. Among other conditions of Barker’s supervised release, Barker was not supposed to commit any other crimes, to use excessive alcohol or to associate with the Ku Klux Klan. And although Barker’s probation was originally scheduled through Oct. 26, 2017, after the Dec. 3 stabbing at Barker’s house, federal court records show that the probation officer retroactively terminated his supervision on Oct. 26, 2016.
Journalist Nate Thayer, who has extensively tracked the Loyal White Knights, has alleged in a series of stories that Barker is a paid informant for the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and helped the feds make a case against a New York man who attempted to build a remote-controlled radiation device to kill Muslims. The FBI has declined to comment on the allegation.
Since the United the Right rally on Aug. 12, which saw white supremacists scuffle with antifascists on the campus of University of Virginia and downtown Charlottesville, and white supremacist James Fields mow down anti-racist protesters in a car-ramming attack, Barker and members of his group have been readily granting media interviews in an attempt to position themselves at the fore of the white supremacist movement.
In one inflammatory television feature, Barker told Ilia Calderon, the Afro-Latina anchor at Univision: “We’re gonna burn you out…. To me, you’re a n*****.” He went on to say, “Hey, we killed 6 million Jews the last time; 11 million [undocumented immigrants] is nothing.”
The Charlotte Observer reports that in the aftermath Charlottesville, a pre-recorded message at the Loyal White Knights’ hotline praised Fields.
“Nothing makes us more proud at the KKK than we see white patriots such as James Fields Jr., age 20, taking his car and running over nine communist anti-fascist, killing one n****-lover named Heather Heyer,” the message said. “James Fields hail victory. It’s men like you that have made the great white race strong and will be strong again.”