Benson KKK Leader Convicted
A federal jury has convicted a self-proclaimed leader of the North Carolina Ku Klux Klan on charges he plotted to kill Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell.
United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker said 49-year old Charles Robert Barefoot Jr., of Benson, blamed Bizzell for the failure of a nightclub he owned and for the Klan not being able to march in the September, 2001 Mule Days parade in Benson.
Walker said Barefoot experimented with making bombs and told a fellow Klan member he had a plan to float down the Neuse River on a boat, get out at Smithfield, and plant a bomb at the sheriff’s office. There is no evidence the plot was ever attempted.
In addition to explosives charges, Barefoot was also convicted in a scheme to sell over 30 weapons stolen from a home in Benson.
At sentencing, Barefoot faces a maximum prison term of up to 51 years in federal prison.