Posted Jun 16, 2010 11:38 am CDT
An Idaho white supremacist lawyer accused of plotting to murder his wife and mother-in-law told a judge on Tuesday that he is no threat to witnesses or jurors and he should be released from jail.
U.S. District Court Judge Candy Dale turned down lawyer Edgar Steele’s request, made just hours after a pipe bomb was found on a sport utility vehicle owned by Steele and driven by his wife, the Spokane Spokesman-Review reports.
The bomb was discovered after Steele’s wife brought the car in for an oil change, according to KXLY.com. Police did not identify the woman who brought the Mitsubishi Endeavor to the auto shop in Coeur d’Alene, but mechanics later identified her as Cyndi Steele, the television station says.
When mechanics found the device, Cyndi Steele “became extremely concerned and told the mechanics to get out,” according to the KXLY. Eyewitnesses told the TV station that she then began to cry hysterically. A police bomb squad later detonated the device.
Cyndi Steele showed up at the federal court hearing and spoke to her husband before the judge issued an order barring him from contacting his wife. Cyndi Steele objected to the order, according to the Spokesman-Review. “I need to be allowed to talk to my husband. I need to not be stripped of my car,” she told court officials.
Edgar Steele claimed the feds were trying to “drive a wedge between me and my wife.” The lawyer has defended white supremacists and is known for his racist and anti-Semitic views.
He is accused of hiring a hit man to kill his wife and mother-in-law in a car crash staged to look like an accident. According to allegations in a probable cause affidavit, the man Steele hired, one of his occasional employees, wore a wire and recorded Steele plotting the crime.