A Chicago judge has recused himself from hearing the case of neo-Nazi leader William A. White of Roanoke, who is charged with using the Internet to encourage violence.
White has targeted a number of people on his Web site, including every federal judge in Chicago, according to federal prosecutors. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys had asked Judge William Hibbler to step aside in order to avoid any perception of bias against the white supremacist.
In an order entered Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, Hibbler wrote that he could give White a fair trial. “This court however grants the defendant’s motion to recuse itself only to protect against the appearance of impropriety,” he wrote.
Hibbler referred the case to a judicial executive committee, which in a separate filing Tuesday asked that a judge from outside the Northern District of Illinois be appointed.
White, head of the Roanoke-based American National Socialist Workers Party, has also asked that federal prosecutors in Chicago be removed from the case and that it be transferred to Roanoke.
Those requests, which had been scheduled to be heard on Thursday, must now wait until a new judge is assigned to the case. White remains in jail, with a trial date yet to be scheduled.