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Jury selection starts in supremacist case

3 men accused of picking fights to intimidate minorities

SHARE Jury selection starts in supremacist case

The leader of a national white-supremacist group and two other men are expected to stand trial this week on charges they assaulted a Mexican immigrant and an American Indian outside two Salt Lake City bars.

Jury selection is expected to begin today in the four-day trial of Travis D. Massey, 30, and Eric G. Egbert, 22, both of Salt Lake City, and Shaun A. Walker, 39, of Hillsboro, W.Va.

Each man faces up to 20 years in federal prison. Federal prosecutors say the men were members of the white-supremacist group National Alliance and that they provoked the fights as a way to intimidate minorities into not living and working in Salt Lake City.

Charging documents state the three men beat a Mexican-American patron outside the O'Shucks private club on Dec. 31, 2002. Massey is also charged with the assault of an American Indian outside the Port O' Call bar, along with an unnamed man, on March 15, 2003.

All three men have pleaded not guilty and have denied the allegations.

Walker has been the leader of the National Alliance, which is based in Hillsboro, W.Va. Although he has been allowed release pending the trail, a federal judge had ordered that Walker have no contact with the organization or anyone affiliated with it.

In past statements, Walker has said he grew up in Salt Lake City as a neo-Nazi skinhead in his teens.

According to the National Alliance Web site, Erich Gliebe has taken over as chairman of the organization. The site also shows the group had launched a defense fund to hire legal counsel for the men. Gliebe is a former head of the National Alliance and is a former boxer from Cleveland who used to fight under the name the "Aryan Barbarian."

E-mail: gfattah@desnews.com