Published March 07, 2005
CHICAGO – The parents of white supremacist Matthew Hale (search) told FOX News and The Associated Press that they don't believe their son was responsible for ordering the murder of a federal judge's husband and mother.
Evelyn Hutcheson, Hale's mother, told FOX News' Greta Van Susteren that it was ridiculous for authorities to suspect her son in the crimes as he is awaiting sentencing for soliciting an FBI informant to kill U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow (search).
"Everything is monitored; his mail is monitored, his telephone calls are listened to by two FBI agents. There wouldn't be any way that he could get any message to anybody to do this and wouldn't it be kind of stupid to do this when his sentencing is up on April 6?" Hutcheson said on "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren."
Hutcheson, who described her 33-year-old son as a "white separatist" and not a "white supremacist," said authorities should be looking for the real culprit who killed Judge Lefkow's husband — attorney Michael Lefkow, 64 — and mother, Donna Humphrey, 89, who had lived in Denver.
"He is not a violent person. He has always preached non-violence to his members," she said.
Hutcheson also told FOX News she believed the killings were set up by groups that want to increase Hale's sentence, though admitted she had no evidence to support her theory.
"I'm going to be very honest," said Hale. "I believe that the prosecutor in Matt's case wanted something to enhance his sentence ... and I believe that the Jewish defense league or FBI have put someone up to doing this."
In separate telephone interviews with The Associated Press, Hutcheson and Russell Hale said Sunday they are worried authorities will cancel their visits to their son.
They are limited to one phone call with Hale each week and visits to the Metropolitan Correction Center in Chicago every other Tuesday.
Russell Hale said two FBI agents questioned him Friday for 15 or 20 minutes, asking if he had any idea who might have killed the judge's family members.
Matthew Hale has denied any involvement in the slayings, or of soliciting the judge's murder. But FBI Agent Robert D. Grant has said Hale and his associates are one avenue of investigation.
Authorities have collected a total of 606 tips about the Feb. 28 slayings in the home of Lefkow, according to police spokeswoman JoAnn Taylor. Police did not say how many tips had come in since the case was featured Saturday night on the television show "America's Most Wanted," but on Friday, they reported receiving 230 tips.
Police also said on Sunday that they hoped to learn as early as this week whether material collected at the crime scene contains DNA evidence.
During Hale's murder-plot trial, prosecutors contended that he was furious when Lefkow ordered him to stop using the name World Church of the Creator (search) because it had been trademarked by an Oregon religious group that has no ties to Hale. Her original decision in favor of Hale had been overturned by an appeals court.
Lawyer Questions Direction of Probe
An attorney who shared office space with Michael Lefkow wondered Monday why investigators haven't taken his computer, files and letters -- anything that might suggest they are considering the killings were linked to his career and not his wife's.
"I have heard little that has led me to believe they are looking into Mike Lefkow's dealings with people," William Spielberger said.
He noted that any attorney is bound to make people angry, from unhappy clients to those they've sued. "They may not have a legitimate grudge against the lawyers but they (grudges) are there," he said.
FBI spokesman Ross Rice declined to discuss Spielberger's concerns Monday. "To say what leads we're following up on and who we're interviewing would be inappropriate," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.