White supremacist barred from contact with judges

`Insulting' voice messages lead to probation change for Wheeler


News from around the Baltimore region

September 03, 2005|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,SUN STAFF

For leaving three ranting messages laced with racist epithets on a District Court judge's voice mail, Lovell "Artie" Wheeler, a 63-year-old white supremacist, had the terms of his probation modified yesterday to include an order barring him from contacting any judges in Maryland, except for Circuit Judge John M. Glynn.

Glynn declined yesterday to play a recording of messages in court, calling it "insulting," "disgraceful," and "scurrilous." Instead, a transcript was entered into the court record.

"I will tell you, frankly, the tape is so offensive that I didn't wish to inflict it on the audience in the courtroom," Glynn said.

Wheeler was arrested in July 2003 after city police raided his Southeast Baltimore home and seized a cache of gunpowder, rifles and handguns, as well as white supremacist literature. He pleaded guilty in October 2003 to charges of reckless endangerment, possession of more than five pounds of gunpowder and improper storage of gunpowder. He received a five-year sentence and three years' probation.

Before his guilty plea, Wheeler spent four months in jail after District Judge C. Yvonne Holt-Stone let stand a $2 million bail set by a court commissioner. He had considered himself a political prisoner.

The messages that Wheeler left on the court's voice mail Aug. 21 were directed mainly toward Holt-Stone, according to a review of the transcript. But he also bashed Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, Mayor Martin O'Malley, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., President Bush and his family, a city police detective, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Wal-Mart's founder, Sam Walton, and his wife.

"Well," he said in one of the few passages in the four-page transcript that can printed in a newspaper, "I just want to tell you again you violated my rights to keep and bear arms as guaranteed to me by the United State's Constitution."

In court yesterday, Wheeler launched into an anti-government diatribe, filled with conspiracy theories about the causes of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Wearing bluejeans, dark suspenders, and a white T-shirt, and walking with a cane, Wheeler criticized authorities for the way he said they treated his wife and him.

Glynn said that if Wheeler wishes to contact him in the future, he can send a "polite letter."

Wheeler apologized for the messages he left, but added: "It was not as bad as what they [authorities] did to the Wheelers."

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