LYNNWOOD — Six months after an African-American DJ was stomped at a bar north of Lynnwood, eight suspects are still awaiting charges.
It’s not clear if federal authorities will take the case, or if the charging decision will be made by the office of Snohomish County Prosecutor Adam Cornell.
“The matter is under review, and my office and local law enforcement have been in contact with the local U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Cornell said this week.
It’s being investigated as a hate crime by the FBI and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
Early on the morning of Dec. 8, 2018, a large group of men — encouraged in part by two women, according to one witness account — tried to hijack a DJ’s gear at the Rec Room Bar & Grill on Highway 99. The DJ resisted, and they shouted the N-word at him and beat him, court papers say. He suffered a swollen eye, and an owner of the bar reported he’d been struck with what felt like brass knuckles. Sheriff’s deputies wrote that they arrested the suspects as they fled the scene in two vehicles.
All eight suspects carried at least one emblem of white nationalism: a swastika ring; an Imperial cross; and patches and business cards of the hate group Crew 38, search warrants revealed.
Most had come from out of state — Oregon, Illinois, North Carolina — in what detectives suspect was a kind of pilgrimage to Whidbey Island, where terrorist Robert Jay Mathews, of The Order, died in a shootout with the FBI on Dec. 8, 1984.
One of the men, Travis Condor, 34, of Pittsburgh, runs a white power record label. He’d chosen a photo of Mathews for the cover of his band’s latest album.
The other suspects were identified as:
Cory Colwell, 34, of Eugene, Oregon.
Daniel Dorson, 24, of Corvallis, Oregon.
Guy Miller III, 37, of Tacoma.
Leah Northcraft, 25, of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Vincent Nutter, 28, of Bothell.
Randy Smith, 39, of Eugene, Oregon. Deputies noted he had blood on his hands.
Nathaniel Woodell, 33, of Woodstock, Illinois.
Since then, all eight have been released from the Snohomish County Jail, either because they posted bond or a deadline passed for holding them without Superior Court charges.
Charges can still be filed in state or federal court.
Malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime law, allows for a sentence of up to five years in prison. A federal hate crime conviction could carry stiffer consequences, said Shari Ireton, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.
“Detectives are working together,” Ireton said via email, “to see if they can develop probable cause for a conviction with the longest sentence possible.”
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snocaleb.