The wheels of justice inched forward last week when members of the Vinlander Social Club appeared in Marion County court.
The defendants, Eric Fairburn, Josh Kern and Timothy Dumas, appeared at a pre-trial hearing before Judge Tanya Walton-Pratt. The three are charged with assaulting Dexter Lewis, a black male, in downtown Indianapolis on March 26, 2007. (NUVO “Hate Crimes in Indiana,” June 20, 2007; www.nuvo.net/articles/hate_crimes_in_indiana)
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Vinlanders are “a skinhead warrior clan devoted to drinking and fighting.” Co-founded by Fairburn in 2004, the group maintains an Indianapolis “clubhouse” on the 2500 block of English Avenue, the primary residence of Fairburn and Dumas according to court documents.
Despite record-high temperatures, Kern and Dumas, both out on bond, appeared in court wearing long-sleeved shirts that hid the racist tattoos that cover their arms. Fairburn, who remains in police custody, was unable to obscure his numerous tattoos in his prison-issue orange jumpsuit.
Dumas has a tattoo of the symbol of Hitler’s Waffen SS while Kern and Fairburn each have the number “28” tattooed on top of their heads. The 28 stands for the second and eighth letters of the alphabet, short for “Blood & Honour,” the European racist organization with whom the Vinlanders align themselves. Fairburn also has a large tattoo of the word “MURDER” across his throat.
Mark Inman, the public defender representing Fairburn, requested and was granted a continuance to allow time to depose witnesses to the assault, who allege that they were threatened with death if they called the police. Depositions will be taken Sept. 21. A jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 15.
I just don't get the Star's editors. They seemed determined to slant the paper's news coverage to avoid boosting the case for the passage of hate crimes legislation in Indiana, a proposition its editors oppose, even if it means ignoring a victim like Dexter Lewis. Hats off to Nuvo for keeping the spotlight on cases like that of Dexter Lewis and Aaron Hall.