Three black friends of a man accused of planting a pipe bomb outside the dorm room of two black athletes at Dixie College testified he is not a racist.
Throughout the federal court trial, prosecutors have presented evidence and testimony suggesting that Robert A. Little, 18, is a white supremacist prone to racist derogatory attitudes toward blacks."He never exuded any of that with me," friend Carlton Dinall testified Friday in U.S. District Court.
"He's like one of my children," added Gerry Gee Cummings-Warren, whose four children grew up with Little in California City, Calif.
But a probation officer responded with testimony about racial invectives and incidents involving Little and dating back to 1991, when he was just 13.
Little is charged with setting off a bomb at the Shiloh Dormitory on Oct. 10, 1993. No one was injured in the blast, which blew out the windows of one apartment and sent shrapnel flying into walls and ceilings.
After defense attorneys rested, prosecutors Wendy Olson and Paul Warner called probation officer Ritchie Murrell of Kern County, Calif., as a rebuttal witness.
He said Little typed "Ku Klux Klan" onto a systemwide computer at a California detention facility, he sent an abusive letter to a counselor adorned with swastikas and he called blacks and Mexicans "scum."
Murrell also testified that when Little was released from a youth camp in 1993, he "espoused extremely racist beliefs" that his mother said were unwelcome in their home.
Little, who was 16 at the time of the bombing, had escaped from a California juvenile facility, where he was confined for his involvement in the firebombing of a black California City family's house.
While testifying for more than an hour on Friday, Little acknowledged his role in the California City incident, but said it was motivated by a stolen bicycle, not racial bias.
He said most of the prosecution's witnesses - who described him making the Dixie College bomb and bragging after it exploded at the dorm - were either lying or confused.
He did admit to shaving his head and once being interested in joining a southern Utah skinhead faction, but said he later decided against enlisting. Little also testified that during the hour the bomb went off, he was alone in his apartment.