Suspected neo-Nazi listens to charges as he's arraigned in Sacramento courtroom
William Scott Planer, the white supremacist arrested along with counter-demonstrators on assault charges stemming from a violent June 2016 riot at a neo-Nazi rally at the state Capitol, rejected prosecutors' deal offer Monday afternoon setting up a preliminary hearing on the allegations.
The offer from Sacramento County District Attorney's prosecutors would have Planer, 35, serve the low term of four years on two assault counts. Prosecutors, citing video footage of the skirmish, allege Planer attacked counter-demonstrators with a pole or stick. Planer, through defense attorney Danny Brace, countered with an offer that he be released with his time served in Sacramento County custody - 87 days.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet set Planer's preliminary hearing for Dec. 27. Planer remains held in lieu of $600,00 bail at Sacramento County Jail.
The joint rally of the Traditionalist Worker Party and Golden State Skinheads devolved into chaos when members of the two groups clashed with anti-fascist demonstrators. The violence left at least 10 people hurt including at least five who were stabbed, authorities said.
California Highway Patrol, roundly criticized for its response to the rioting, collected enough evidence to arrest Planer, a Sacramento native, but more recently of Denver.
Planer's activities have long been known to the Anti-Defamation League, the organization's officials said following Planer's arrest in July on suspicion of defacing a Colorado Springs, Colo., synagogue.
Meantime, attorneys for the three counter-demonstrators also facing assault charges tied to the rioting have asked that their charges be dismissed. The three, Yvette Felarca, 47, a teacher and actIvist from Berkeley; Michael Williams, 56, who said he was part of a group of "Brown Berets" who provided protection for counter-demonstrators; and Porfirio Paz, 19, are slated to return to Sacramento Superior Court on Jan. 18.
Their attorneys have a Dec. 12 deadline to file motions arguing to throw out criminal charges.