SPOKANE, Wash. — The first man scheduled to die by lethal injection as part of the Justice Department’s decision to reinstate the death penalty once tried to bomb Spokane City Hall.
According to a report from the Associated Press, Danny Lee, of Yukon, Oklahoma, was convicted in the 1996 deaths of an Arkansas family as part of a plot to set up a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest. He was given the death penalty and two life sentences in connection to the murders in 2002.
He is scheduled to be executed on Dec. 9.
A judge denied a new trial to Chevie Kehoe, Lee's co-defendant and the alleged mastermind of the plot. Kehoe was sentenced to life in prison.
Kehoe, of Colville, Wash., and Lee, of Yukon, Okla., were convicted in 1999 in the 1996 murders of a Pope County, Ark., family.
Danny Lee and the Kehoe brothers, Chevie and Cheyne, were devoted members of the Aryan Peoples' Republic, a white supremacist organization.
Prosecutors said the illegal activities of Kehoe and Lee also included the bombing of Spokane City Hall, and a shootout with Ohio police that was videotaped by a police car-mounted camera and broadcast nationwide.
Chevie and Cheyne shot at two police officers who pulled over their Chevrolet Suburban for expired plates. In the video, several seconds go by as the brother and police fired at each other, but never hitting the other. Then, they drive off nearly dragging an officer with them.
In the following weeks, the officers' dash-cam video fueled a nationwide hunt that ended with the Kehoes' arrests in June 1997.
The New York Times reported on April 30, 1996, the pipe bomb that exploded was packed with three-inch nails. It exploded in a doorway of city hall. No one was there at the time and no one was injured.
The Justice Department said Thursday the federal government will resume executing death-row inmates for the first time since 2003, ending an informal moratorium even as the nation sees a broad shift away from capital punishment.
Attorney General William Barr instructed the Bureau of Prisons to schedule executions starting in December for five men , all accused of murdering children. Although the death penalty remains legal in 30 states, executions on the federal level are rare.