Former cross-burning Klan leader back in jail after violating parole by fleeing Alabama city with a gun
An Ozark, Alabama man who spent a year in prison for his involvement in a 2009 cross-burning in a black neighborhood was arrested Friday for violating the terms of his parole.
According to the Dothan Eagle, former Klan leader Steven Joshua Dinkle’s parole officer revoked Dinkle’s supervised release status when the ex-convict failed to show up for a probation appointment, then fled the city without authorization.
Police took out a warrant on Dinkle on Wednesday of last week and he was taken into custody on Friday. No hearing date has been set so far on the suspension of his supervised release.
Dinkle and his mother were charged in 2013 in a 2009 KKK-affiliated cross-burning in a black neighborhood of Ozark. At the time, Dinkle was an officer in the local Klan chapter and his mother served as the group’s secretary.
The two were charged with conspiracy to violate housing rights, criminal interference with the right to fair housing and obstruction of justice.
In his confession, which he undertook as part of a plea deal, Dinkle admitted to conspiring with two other men to carry out the stunt, which was intended to sow racial intimidation in the neighborhood.
Dinkle was sentenced to two years in state prison but was released in May of 2015 and placed on three years of supervised release.
On July 22, Dinkle was scheduled for a mental health evaluation in Ozark, but failed to show up. On Aug. 12, Dinkle’s probation officer attempted to contact him in Dothan, Alabama, where the former Klansman was reportedly staying with a girlfriend.
The woman informed the probation officer that Dinkle had left to go to North Alabama and that she did not know when or if he would return.
Also on Aug. 12, the probation officer received a phone tip that Dinkle has traveling outside the prescribed zone of his probation terms and carrying a weapon.
Dinkle’s mother, Pamela Morris, was sentenced in February to 10 months in federal prison for lying to federal investigators about the cross-burning incident.
The Eagle said that the case was prosecuted by the FBI with assistance from the Dale County Sheriff’s Office and the Ozark Police.