PHOENIX — A federal trial began Tuesday for two white supremacist brothers from Illinois charged in a 2004 bombing that injured a black city official in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale.
The case for twin brothers Dennis and Daniel Mahon has been delayed several times since their June 2009 arrest at their home in Davis Junction, Ill., because of the extensive amount of evidence.
They pleaded not guilty in the Feb. 26, 2004, bombing in which a package detonated in the hands of Don Logan, Scottsdale's diversity director at the time, which injured Logan's hand and arm and also hurt a secretary.
The brothers are charged with conspiracy to damage buildings and property by means of explosive. Authorities said they found assault weapons, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and white supremacist material in the home.
Jury selection is expected to take Tuesday and perhaps Wednesday. Opening statements are scheduled for Thursday morning.
Judge David Campbell ordered the case to proceed Tuesday over the objection of defense attorneys who said they needed another week to prepare. The Mahons, dressed in suits, sat quietly as U.S. Marshals stood close by.
Logan has denied requests to speak about the case but spoke in court during a hearing for Daniel Mahon shortly after his arrest.
"This individual represents hate, and that hate is a danger to the community," Logan said as he pointedly looked Mahon in the eye. "That someone would come to Arizona and launch an attack simply because my skin color is different from theirs, simply because of hate ... is unconscionable."
In a letter filed as evidence in federal court, Dennis Mahon wrote that he led the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan from 1987 to 1991 and that brother Daniel was never a member of the group, only a "small money supporter."
Dennis Mahon also is charged with malicious damage of a building by means of explosive and distribution of information related to explosives.
The Mahons were arrested after a lengthy undercover operation in which they bragged to someone working with the government about bombings they were planning, according to court records.
Records show that on May 1, 2007, Dennis Mahon told the government informant that he was planning to toss a few grenades into an immigration rally and then open fire. But he never followed through after another white supremacist leader told him not to because it would garner sympathy for immigrants.Comment on this story
While discussing the Scottsdale bombing, court records indicate that Dennis Mahon said: "I just wanted to teach (Logan) a lesson the first time."
Dennis Mahon also is accused of making a call to the diversity office in September 2003 and saying, "the white Aryan resistance is growing in Scottsdale. There's a few white people who are standing up."
The Mahons' lawyers have argued that weapons found in their home were legal, that they're entitled to their beliefs and that they bragged about their involvement in Logan's bombing to impress the informant, who was a woman.
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