The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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Police/Courts

April 30, 2007

Defendant asks judge to remove ‘skinhead’ reference

LEWISBURG — A Rupert man facing charges for selling drugs asked a judge Monday to strike from his record a reference to the word “skinhead,” which allegedly was said by a police officer and recorded on tape.

Monte Dean Martin, 26, was indicted in February for delivery of marijuana and conspiracy to deliver marijuana.

Martin claims that one of the officers involved in the case referred to him as a “known skinhead.” Martin is bald and has several tattoos.

His defense lawyer, assistant public defender Steve Paragamian, argued this language could prejudice his client’s case if seen by a jury. He asked Chief Circuit Judge James J. Rowe to have the word stricken from the record.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Steve Dolly did not object.

“It doesn’t make any difference regarding his guilt or innocence,” Dolly said. “And in light of the people who live in our neighboring county, it should be redacted.”

Dolly’s reference was to The National Alliance, located less than 60 miles from Lewisburg in Pocahontas County. The organization is widely considered as the most influential neo-Nazi, white supremacist group in the nation.

Rowe did not make an immediate ruling.

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