A white supremacist lawyer was stabbed and beaten to death by a black neighbour who had done yard work for him at his home in Pearl, Mississippi.
A preliminary post mortem showed Richard Barrett, 67, was stabbed multiple times in the neck and bashed in the head, Sheriff Ronnie Pennington said.
He had burns over 35 per cent of his body, though investigators believe he was killed on Wednesday night and his house set on fire Thursday to cover up his death.
Pennington did not disclose a motive but said neighbour Vincent McGee, 22, was charged with murder on Thursday and deputies charged three other people in the case on Friday.
Albert Lewis, McGee’s stepfather, was charged with being an accessory after the fact, while Vicky and Michael Dent, who live nearby, are charged with being accessories after the fact and arson.
Pennington did not describe their involvement but said all three were being held at the county jail. He did not know if they had attorneys.
Barrett traveled the country to promote anti-black and anti-immigrant views and founded a supremacist group called the Nationalist Movement. He had a knack for publicity but little real influence, one expert said.
‘Richard Barrett was a guy who ran around the country essentially pulling off publicity stunts,’ said Mark Potok, who monitors hate groups for the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center.
‘He really never amounted to any kind of leader in the white supremacist movement.’
His body was found on Thursday morning after neighbours saw smoke coming from his house in a rural area of Jackson.
The sheriff said McGee had not yet hired a lawyer and the suspect’s mother had no comment when she went to the jail where her son was being held…