Lawyer: Client given cult literature
Athens Banner-Herald/August 4, 2006
By Joe Johnson
A Clarke County sheriff's deputy distributed black supremacist
literature even as a Clarke County grand jury and the sheriff's
office investigated alleged cult activity at the county jail,
according to a defense attorney who represents a prisoner at the
Deputies affiliated with the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors
sect have used "every opportunity" to try to indoctrinate his
client and other prisoners, said defense lawyer Dean Clark, adding
that a deputy gave one of his clients at the jail a book written
by cult leader Dwight "Malachi" York as recently as two weeks ago.
Clark's client is Bobby Leon Martin, one of three people
awaiting trial for the Jan. 4 shooting death of Kentora Thomas in
"The last time I saw Bobby at the jail he gave me the book (the
deputy) gave him," Clark said. "He told me previously how
(deputies) will talk to inmates every chance they get about how
great the Nuwaubians are and give them books."
Sheriff Ira Edwards did not respond to questions e-mailed
Thursday to his spokesman, interim Chief Deputy Sheriff Jack
Mitchell, about whether the distribution of the Nuwaubian
literature violated policy and if the deputy involved faced
Clark said his client didn't buy into Nuwaubian teachings. He
said after Martin spoke to a sheriff's official about alleged cult
activity at the jail, a Nuwaubian deputy "basically told him,
'You're playing with fire, and you shouldn't be disrespecting us
by talking to these investigators.' "
In the book the deputy allegedly gave Martin, "Who Rolled the
Stone?" York asserts that Jesus did not die from crucifixion but
lived to be 102, and that it was actually Judas who was entombed
and later removed to be hung from a tree to make it look like
In the book, Jesus, the Disciples and other key figures in the
New Testament are portrayed as being black.
Speaking on attempts to kill the newborn Jesus and the
Crucifixion, York compared Jesus to the leader of the Branch
Davidian sect, which had 76 members killed in 1993 after a 51-day
stand-off with federal law enforcement officials.
"Anyone who thinks that they are the Messiah or Christ, they
are killed," York wrote. "Like David Koresh, as soon as he claimed
to be Christ the government came down on him and bombed his whole
community in Waco, Texas."
Before his arrest in 2002, York lived with hundreds of
followers in his own 476-acre community in Eatonton called
The April term of the Clarke County grand jury issued a report
calling for an independent body to investigate Nuwaubian
recruitment activities at the jail. One of the deputies remained
[in] touch with the sect's leader, York, a convicted felon serving
a 135-year federal prison sentence.
Edwards responded, saying his office already was investigating
whether Nuwaubian deputies acted inappropriately. He also said in
a separate statement he told grand jurors about the need to
protect deputies' rights, including the freedoms of speech and
association, and that based on the facts initially brought to his
attention, the Nuwaubian deputies were not engaging in prohibited
Edwards disputed the grand jury's claim that an independent
investigation of his office was needed.
The internal affairs investigation began in March after
then-jail commander Brett Hart was notified by the U.S. Bureau of
Prisons that a letter from a Clarke deputy to York was intercepted
at a federal maximum security prison in Colorado, where York is
serving a 135-year sentence on child molestation, racketeering and
other convictions. Hart has said deputies corresponding with a
convicted felon was a violation of jail policy and possibly
Hart was fired in April, and he contends in a complaint filed
last month with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission
that he was let go in part because he was looking into deputies'
involvement with the Nuwaubians.