Jury in Arizona bomb case hears audio using slurs
- Article by: AMANDA LEE MYERS
- Associated Press
- January 17, 2012 - 1:52 PM
PHOENIX - Jurors in the trial of two white supremacist brothers accused of bombing a black city official in Scottsdale on Tuesday heard audio tapes of the men using racial slurs and pointing out the bombing site to a government informant.
Identical twin brothers Dennis and Daniel Mahon have pleaded not guilty in the 2004 bombing, which injured Don Logan, Scottsdale's diversity director at the time, and hurt a secretary.
Investigators used an attractive female government informant — identified as civilian Rebecca "Becca" Williams in court records — to get close to the Mahons over a five-year period in hopes that they would admit to the bombing.
Under a ruse of having to pay a traffic ticket in Scottsdale, the informant drove with the brothers to the city court, which is near the city's diversity office and the site of the bombing.
One of the brothers points out the diversity office to Williams and says, "That's where he was," according to a video and audio tape played in court.
Both brothers then use an offensive racial epithet in what prosecutors say was a reference to Logan, who is black.
Jurors heard Dennis Mahon say in the recording that "I helped make it (the bomb)" and that "I'm sure he knows it's going to happen again."
Jurors also heard how at ease the Mahons were with Williams, whose conduct was "outrageous," according to defense attorneys who say that Williams' behavior with the Mahons amounted to coercion and entrapment. Prosecutors say that Williams flirted with the Mahons but never had sex with either of them.
In the recording, Dennis Mahon tells Williams that they would make a good comedy duo, that they should make a video that starts out as a comedy and turns into a porno, and that Williams could go by the name "Becca the buxom."
Defense attorneys have called Williams a "trailer park Mata Hari," a reference to the Dutch exotic dancer convicted of working as a spy for Germany during World War I.
"It was all about sex," Deborah Williams told jurors in opening statements on Thursday. "Dennis fell hard for her ... Rebecca Williams was the trailer-park Mata Hari, and she gave an award-winning performance."
Court records show that the same day they went to Scottsdale, Dennis Mahon stayed in a hotel room with Williams, and that she gave him a massage while he wore nothing but a towel at one point. At another point, Mahon takes off his towel and jokes with Williams about the size of his anatomy.
Williams testified at a 2010 court hearing before the trial that while she was in bed with Dennis Mahon that night, she wore pajamas, that she repeatedly declined his advances and that she got no sleep because he made her nervous. She said they never had sex.
The Mahons, both 61, met Williams after investigators set her up in a trailer at a campground in Catoosa, Okla., where the brothers were staying after the bombing.
Williams dressed in shorts and tank tops, displayed a Confederate flag and later sent the men at least two racy photos of herself, taken by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unbeknownst to the brothers.
One photo showed her in a leather jacket, fishnet stockings and a thong that completely exposed her buttocks, along with a note that said, "Thought you'd love the butt shot," court records said. The other showed her in a revealing white bikini top with a grenade hanging between her breasts as she posed in front of a pickup truck and a swastika.
Mahon opened up to Williams as the government recorded their conversations. Mahon showed her how to make bombs and bragged about bombing a Jewish community center, an Internal Revenue Service building, an immigration facility, and an abortion clinic, according to court records. Those claims haven't been corroborated.
Prosecutor John Boyle told jurors that the brothers belonged to a group called the White Aryan Resistance, a group that encourages members to act as "lone wolves" and commit violence against non-whites and the government to get their message across.
Last week jurors also heard a message that Dennis Mahon left at the diversity office five months before the attack.
In it, Mahon criticizes Scottsdale for holding a Hispanic heritage event and uses a racial epithet for Hispanics.
"The white Aryan resistance is growing in Scottsdale," Dennis Mahon said angrily. "There's a few white people who are standing up."
Follow Amanda Lee Myers on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/AmandaLeeAP
© 2013 Star Tribune