Liz Teitz // Criminal lawyers for a death row inmate convicted in the 1998 Jasper dragging death of James Byrd Jr. should have argued at trial that his racist views were “largely fantasy” and that he “did not advocate violence,”

King appeals Byrd conviction again, this time citing ‘fantasy’ claim – Beaumont Enterprise – “Defense counsel could also have cast doubt on the State’s theory by showing that King’s CKA activities were largely fantasy and grandiose braggadocio common to inmates with a fertile imagination and time on their hands,” Ellis wrote in the Wednesday appeal. King referred to himself as the “Exalted Cyclops of the C.K.A. here in prison,” which Ellis said was evidence that his plan to start the hate group was not realistic.

He argued in the motion that “King espoused the tenets of the ‘Asatru’ religion and ‘Odinism,’ both of which seem to be based on Norse mythology.”

According to Ellis’ motion, documents found in King’s apartment show that the Asatru Community “does not support nor promote religious or racial hatred, prejudice, or bigotry.”

Followers “believe that all peoples have the Gods (sic) given right to seek their own religious, cultural, and ethnic fulfillment, free from oppression or malice,” Ellis wrote.

He said Cribbs and Jones should have used those documents at trial to prove King did not intend to commit racist crimes.

Ellis also cites a letter King wrote recruiting members to the CKA, in which he called it “a totally legal organization” and promised “no leader will ever ask you to break any law.”

“We try to motivate the Aryan race to work for the advancement of its kindred, we don’t force anyone to do anything,” King wrote in the letter.

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