KKK member can have his guns back, state judge rules in Covington

by Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, The Times-Picayune

Monday August 03, 2009, 8:30 PM

An alleged KKK member from Bogalusa is entitled to retrieve his guns, ammunition and black robe and hood that were seized during a murder investigation last year, a state judge ruled Monday in Covington.

But the judge said he would not enforce his ruling until an appeal by the district attorney’s office could be heard.

In February, a St. Tammany Parish grand jury declined to charge Random Hines, 28, with obstruction of justice in the killing of an Oklahoma woman who reportedly tried to back out of a Ku Klux Klan initiation last year.

Raymond “Chuck” Foster, the alleged imperial wizard of the Bogalusa Sons of Dixie Knights, is charged with second-degree murder in Cynthia Lynch’s death and is awaiting trial. Authorities have said Lynch was killed after she told Foster, 44, that she wanted to return home to Oklahoma.

Assistant District Attorney Julie Knight on Monday argued Hines’ guns should not be released until the state analyzed them, but Judge Reginald “Reggie” Badeaux said that as Hines has no prior convictions and no pending charges, he is entitled to his weapons – a black Hi-Point .45-caliber handgun with extra magazines; a M-44 7.62 by 54 millimeter rifle with bayonet, a Rugger .22-caliber rifle with magazines; and a Remington .22-caliber semi-automatic with a scope.

Badeaux also granted the release of his robe, his wallet that included his identification and Social Security card, and some ammunition.

“The way I see it is Mr. Hines is a U.S. citizen with no prior convictions, no charges pending against him, and he wants his guns,” Badeaux said when making his ruling. “I just can’t see the relevance his guns would have on someone else’s case.”

The judge declined to release Hines’ Sony laptop with black case, as Knight said she wanted time for the state to analyze it for any possible communications between Lynch and Bogalusa Sons of Dixie Knights members. Knight argued that the district attorney’s office “has a right to review the evidence,” and that the guns should not be released until the office has executed that right.

Knight said she will file an appeal of Badeaux’s decision, and Badeaux then said the evidence would remain in the state’s custody until the First Circuit Court of Appeals rules on that motion. Knight said she would write that motion for appeal within the next week.

Knight insisted on Monday that Hines ran the Bogalusa Sons of Dixie Knights along with Foster, and that he was in fact an “imperial knight hawk,” in charge of its guns and ammunition.

* * * * Hines came into court on Monday without an attorney and argued he had a right to his property.

Danielle Jones, 24, accompanied him to court. Jones pleaded guilty in June to being an accessory after the fact in Lynch’s killing.

Badeaux sentenced her to a year in prison with credit for time served. As she’d been in jail since her Nov. 11 arrest, Jones qualified for immediate release due to good behavior.* * * *

On April 30, Frank Stafford, 21, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, and Badeaux sentenced him to four years in prison. Obstruction of justice carries a maximum of 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Shane Foster, 21, Chuck Foster’s son, also is facing an obstruction of justice charge in Lynch’s death. But, on April 21, Badeaux found Shane Foster incompetent to stand trial. He was ordered to get tutoring from a court-appointed forensic coordinator in the St. Tammany Parish jail in an effort to restore his competency and make him ready for trial.

Shane Foster does not have a factual understanding of the law or its procedures, according to expert testimony. He is scheduled for a hearing today, at which time Badeaux likely will reassess that mental competency.    http://www.nola.com/northshore/index.ssf/2009/08/kkk_member_can_have_his_guns_b.html

Benjamin Alexander-Bloch can be reached at bbloch@timespicayune.com or 985.898.4827

Victim of Louisiana KKK slaying identified

Posted: Nov 11, 2008 3:37 PM CST

Updated: Nov 17, 2008 9:23 AM CST

By Doug Mouton – bio | email

COVINGTON, LA (WWL) – A Tulsa, Oklahoma woman was murdered in rural southeast Louisiana in connection with a Ku Klux Klan initiation ritual, the sheriff of a New Orleans suburb says. Eight arrests were reported.

The St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s office said Wednesday that the woman was 43-year-old Cynthia C. Lynch of Tulsa. Sheriff Jack Strain says Lynch had been recruited over the internet to come to Louisiana, join a Klan faction, and then return to Oklahoma to sign up more members.

However, authorities say she asked to be taken back to town from the ritual site in a rural area. It happened in the woods near Sun, Louisiana, which is located between Covington and Bogalusa. Now, experts are speaking out about the crime.

Former FBI special agent, Jim Bernazzani, says he is not surprised. “These guys are extremists to begin with, and they will convict themselves, given time, especially in resolution of conflict,” he says. Extreme, but unorganized, he adds. Bernazzani says the FBI did a statewide assessment and did not see the KKK organizing. “I don’t see any kind of grass-roots movement organizing. I tell ya, I see a bunch of guys who once in a while get together, but for the most part, uh, it’s more rhetoric than anything else.”

Judy Robinson says she has evidence that they are out there. Two weeks ago, someone spray-painted the letters “KKK” on her brother’s car and “White Power” on her propane tank. “It made me feel bad, really, cuz I thought this was all over, but I guess always, there will be a few.” She believes she knows why she was targeted. Robinson says for the first time ever, she put up a campaign sign at her home in upper northeast Washington Parish. The sign was in support of President-elect Barack Obama. “I was so proud to put the Obama sign in my yard and it’s gonna sit there until I get ready to move it (laughs).” She says she’s never dealt with anything like this before.

Meanwhile, the man accused in the shooting, Raymond Chuck Foster, is being held without bond on a second-degree murder charge. Seven other suspects are under arrest, including Shane Foster, Raymond Foster’s son. Their bond is set at $500,000 each. They are all being held at the St. Tammany Parish jail.      http://www.wafb.com/global/story.asp?s=9331679 

Accessory in Ku Klux Klan killing admits guilt

Posted by Benjamin Alexander-Bloch June 25, 2009 12:57PM

A member of a Bogalusa Ku Klux Klan group was sentenced this afternoon to a year in prison after pleading guilty to being an accessory in the killing of an Oklahoma woman who reportedly tried to back out of a KKK initiation last year in St. Tammany Parish.

Danielle Jones, 24, admitted to giving authorities false information immediately after the murder of Klan recruit Cynthia Lynch, 43, who was shot to death Nov. 9 in a remote part of northeastern St. Tammany. She later admitted to witnessing the shooting, according to the factual basis she admitted to with her plea at the parish courthouse in Covington.

Raymond “Chuck” Foster, the alleged imperial wizard of the Bogalusa Sons of Dixie Knights, is charged with second-degree murder in Lynch’s death. He is awaiting trial.

Authorities have said Lynch was killed after she told Foster, 44, that she wanted to go home.

State Judge Reginald “Reggie” Badeaux accepted Jones’s plea and sentenced her to the year of incarceration with credit for time served. As she has been in jail since her Nov. 11 arrest, with credit for good behavior she can qualify for release immediately. Her defense attorney, Mark Jolissaint, said that due to paperwork she likely wouldn’t be released for the next few days.

Assistant District Attorney Julie Knight prosecuted the case.

Accessory after the fact carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $500 fine.


Klan initiation ends with recruit’s murder

By Matthew Penix
St. Tammany News
Published on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 8:38 AM CST

Eight Ku Klux Klan members from the Bogalusa area were arrested Tuesday after allegedly killing a Tulsa, Okla., woman during an initiation ritual in a remote northern St. Tammany Parish campsite, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office officials said.

The woman, whose name was not released as of deadline Tuesday, was shot to death. Her body was found stashed under loose brush near the end of Lock 3 Road, a rural road along the Pearl River in Sun, Sheriff’s Office spokesman George Bonnett said.

Officials say the woman, recruited over the Internet by the Sons of Dixie Brotherhood chapter of the KKK, came to St. Tammany by bus to be initiated, expecting to return to Oklahoma and start recruiting other Klansmen in the Midwest.

She first arrived in Slidell, where she met two of the Klan members arrested. She was then taken to the campsite, surrounded by woods and bayous, for initiation.

Then, sometime Sunday, she made a fatal mistake, Bonnett said. She asked to be taken back to Slidell.

A fight erupted that investigators say led the group’s ringleader, 44-year-old Raymond Chuck Foster of Bogalusa, to pull the trigger.

In an effort to conceal the crime, several of the group’s members burned the victim’s personal items, including a purse, and tried to clean up the crime scene before they split up.

Sheriff Jack Strain, speaking at a press conference Tuesday, said Foster even pulled the bullet, shot from a .40 caliber hand gun from the woman’s body.

“What was odd about this was the extent they went to cover it up,” Strain said. “To the degree they scrubbed the area was pretty impressive for a group with such a small IQ.”
Strain said the crime was discovered after two people went into the Circle K store on Louisiana Highway 21 near Bogalusa about 4 a.m. Monday and asked how to get blood out of clothing. The clerk called the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, and that department initiated an investigation.

Foster, hiding alone in the woods, was contacted via cell phone and agreed to surrender after five other group members, also hiding in another section of the woods, agreed to turn themselves in to authorities.

The five members traveled by boat to the Lock 3 boat launch and were taken into custody without incident.

Foster, meanwhile, was arrested when members of the marine division from the St. Tammany and Washington parish sheriff’s offices drove to his location by boat and took him into custody.

Foster was booked into St. Tammany Parish Jail on a charge of second-degree murder, a charge that, if convicted, carries a life sentence. No bond was set.

Also arrested were Shane Foster, 20, Frank Stafford, 21, Timothy Michael Watkins, 31, Alicia Watkins, 23, Andrew Yates, 20, Random Hines, 27, and Danielle Jones, 23, all of the Bogalusa area.

Each was charged with obstruction of justice and were being held as of Tuesday afternoon in lieu of $500,000 bonds.

Raymond Clark Foster is no stranger to law enforcement. Strain said he has a lengthy rap sheet dating back to the 1980s that includes a conviction for manslaughter, among other crimes.

Shane Foster, Strain said, is his son.

“To not only murder someone in cold blood, but to enlist the help of your son to cover it up shows how heinous this individual is,” Strain said.

The sheriff said the investigation is continuing, and he isn’t sure yet the extent of the KKK in the area.

“This is the most elaborate role I’ve seen of any KKK group (in his 30-plus years of law enforcement experience),” Strain said. “We don’t know yet how much is pageantry and how much of this is power. It’s still to be seen.”    http://www.thesttammanynews.com/articles/2008/11/12/news/doc4919e18388b5b516406627.txt

Woman sentenced for role in Klan killing of Oklahoma woman


Published: June 25, 2009



COVINGTON, La. (AP) — A witness to the killing of an Oklahoma woman who tried to back out of a Ku Klux Klan initiation was sentenced Thursday to one year in prison for her role in the case.

Danielle Jones, 24, pleaded guilty Thursday to being an accessory to the November 2008 killing of Cynthia Lynch, 43, of Tulsa, Okla.

Raymond “Chuck” Foster, the alleged imperial wizard of the Bogalusa Sons of Dixie Knights, is awaiting trial on a second-degree murder charge stemming from Lynch’s death.

Jones was accused of giving false information to investigators after the murder.

“I think she was acting more out of fear for her safety than out of any desire to help (Foster),” said Jones’ lawyer, Mark Jolissaint.

State District Judge Reginald Badeaux agreed to give Jones credit for time she already has served. With credit for good behavior, Jones may qualify for immediate release from custody, Jolissaint said.

Jolissaint said his client still maintains her innocence in spite of her plea.

“She chose to accept that so she can get out of jail,” he said. http://newsok.com/woman-sentenced-for-role-in-klan-killing-of-oklahoma-woman/article/3380581