Four avowed white supremacists were sentenced to federal prison Friday after pleading guilty to hate crimes and lying to the FBI about brutally beating a Black DJ unconscious at a Lynnwood tavern in 2018.
The attack took place just hours after the four men attended a ceremony marking the death of the murderous neo-Nazi activist Robert Jay Mathews, founder of The Order, who was killed in an FBI shootout at Smuggler's Cove on Whidbey Island in 1984.
U.S. District Judge Richard Jones told each of the men in turn that their actions were reprehensible and that they were heroes to nobody's cause.
"The man you revered is no martyr," Jones told one of the defendants, Jason Stanley, a 46-year-old skinhead and felon from Boise, Idaho. "He was a manager of hate."
"You have a right to hold your feelings and thoughts," Jones said. "Nowhere does that protection extend to beating someone."
Stanley, who is heavily tattooed with white supremacist slogans and pictures, including the likeness of Adolf Hitler, was sentenced to federal prison for 48 months, even though the defense and prosecution had agreed to recommend a 37-month sentence. Another of the men, Jason DeSimas, 45, also was given a four-year prison sentence.
A third defendant, 42-year-old Randy Smith, received a 42-month sentence, and the fourth man, Daniel Dorson, 27, was given 28 months.
The men, indicted in 2020 after an extensive FBI investigation, were also ordered to serve three years apiece of supervised release and pay $170,969.48 total in restitution of Smith's medical expenses and lost wages.
Jones told Stanley that he and his colleagues were nothing more than "modern-day, unhooded [Ku Klux Klan]."
The four men were among a group of neo-Nazi skinheads who took over the dance floor at Lynnwood's Rec Room Bar & Grill the night of Dec. 8, 2018, after attending a so-called "Martyr's Day" memorial at the site where Mathews died on adjacent Whidbey Island.
The men were wearing clothing that marked them as white supremacists, according to court documents, and used racial slurs and Nazi salutes — taunting and confronting the DJ, Tyrone Smith. When he reacted, they kicked, punched and stomped him to the ground, the documents said.
Smith took a break, came back and found Stanley attempting to operate his turntables. He attempted to move Stanley aside, and the four men jumped him — later claiming it was a case of "mutual combat" because Smith had pushed Stanley.
Smith, now 41, addressed the court during DeSimas' sentencing, testifying that his life has never been the same. He suffered a serious head injury that resulted in him losing his house and a job at Boeing with a six-figure paycheck. He also suffers from severe PTSD, walks with a cane and takes a dozen pills a day to control seizures and muscle weakness, he said.
"My life was changed forever," he said. "They took away my former life and livelihood. I am afraid. I never know when the Hammerskins might come for me. I have to deal with depression, fear, anxiety and pain."
Stanley, according to court documents, was a pledge for the white supremacist group "Hammerskins 38" at the time of the assault.
Two men who attempted to intervene also suffered injuries from being punched and struck in the face, court records say.
U.S. Attorney Nicholas Brown said during a Friday news conference that the government needs to "treat hate crime as the virus that it is." He said prosecuting crimes rooted in racial or religious discrimination is a priority for his office and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, which led the prosecution of the four men.
Brown was flanked by Vanessa Waldref, the U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of Washington in Spokane, which has traditionally been a hotbed of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements in the state. Also speaking was Richard Collodi, the special agent in charge of the FBI in Washington, who said investigating hate crimes is a priority of his agents.