White supremacists who attacked Black DJ at bar sentenced

Jan 27, 2023, 5:03 AM | Updated: 7:04 pm

SEATTLE (AP) — Four white men with white supremacist ties were sentenced in federal court in Seattle Friday for a 2018 assault on a Black DJ at a bar in the suburb of Lynnwood.

Judge Richard Jones sentenced the men to varying prison terms, the Daily Herald reported.

Jason DeSimas, of Tacoma, will serve four years. Under a plea agreement, prosecutors and the defense recommended just over three years. Jason Stanley, of Boise, Idaho, had the same plea deal. Jones sentenced him to four years, as well.

Randy Smith, of Eugene, Oregon, got 3½ years in prison. And Daniel Dorson, of Corvallis Oregon, got 2 1/3 years.

All four were previously convicted of committing a hate crime and making false statements. The man they attacked, Tyrone Smith, said outside the courthouse Friday that his life is forever changed.

The judge also ordered the defendants to pay nearly $171,000 in restitution to cover lost wages and medical bills. He called the attack that of a “modern day unhooded KKK.”

Smith said the defendants’ actions changed him from an outgoing person who DJ’ed for his friends for fun, to someone who struggles with anxiety and uses a cane.

“As we can all see, it’s been a long road for me,” Smith said. “But I had enough courage to come down and make sure this process was handled and justice was actually served.”

On Dec. 7, 2018, DeSimas and others traveled to Lynnwood on the way to visiting the site of a Whidbey Island cabin where Robert Jay Mathews, the neo-Nazi leader of the violent hate group The Order, died in a gunfight with federal agents on Dec. 8, 1984. It has become a far-right holiday, known as Martyr’s Day.

That night, DeSimas attended a gathering with other white supremacist sympathizers, prosecutors said. Shortly after midnight, about a dozen of them went to the Rec Room Bar and Grill. Some wore jackets with patches indicating their white supremacist beliefs and some had similar tattoos, including some depicting swastikas, prosecutors said.

At some point, Stanley messed with Smith’s DJ equipment. Smith pushed him away. In response, DeSimas and others surrounded Smith, using racist slurs while kicking, punching and stomping on Smith, prosecutors said. Witnesses who tried to intervene were also attacked.

The men then left the bar and went to Whidbey Island, where they attended the Martyr’s Day event.

Federal prosecutors indicted the men in December 2020. Citing insufficient evidence, Snohomish County prosecutors declined to charge six other men who were at the tavern the night of the attack.

DeSimas wrote in a letter to the judge that he was “ashamed” of his actions, saying he no longer shared the views he previously held.

Dorson wrote in a similar letter that he was “disgusted by the fear I took part in creating.”

Nick Brown, the U.S. Attorney for Western Washington, said seeking consequences for the attack was a high priority for the Justice Department and the FBI.

Rick Collodi, the FBI’s special agent in charge of Seattle’s field office, said the defendants tried to conceal their actions, but the truth came out.

“The four defendants admitted to being members of a white supremacist group,” Collodi said. “While they have the right to believe what they want, they do not have the right to commit a crime.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

10 hours ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

2 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

2 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

3 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

3 days ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

4 days ago

White supremacists who attacked Black DJ at bar sentenced