It was an unusual courtroom scene: A former Ku Klux Klan grand dragon accused of inciting neo-Nazi "skinheads" to beat a black college student to death on the witness stand questioning himself.
White supremacist Tom Metzger, acting as his own lawyer in a $10 million wrongful death suit, cross-examined himself Wednesday and also answered questions from his son and co-defendant, John, 22. Then the elder Metzger grilled the police chief and district attorney.The unusual events came as the Fallbrook, Calif., TV repairman, former Southern California KKK grand dragon and chief of the White Aryan Resistance (WAR) stayed on the witness stand a day after being questioned by Morris Dees, a Southern civil rights attorney representing the family of the slain man.
Metzger, 52, and his son are representing themselves in the lawsuit brought by two civil rights groups on behalf of the family of Mulugeta Seraw, 27, an Ethiopian student who was beaten to death with a baseball bat by three skinheads in Portland in 1988.
The suit says the Metzgers sent three White Aryan Resistance associates to Portland to spread their teachings of hatred and violence against blacks and Jews. The suit says the Metzgers, who were never charged with a crime in the murder, should be held responsible for Seraw's death.