WASHINGTON (Jun. 27)
The convicted slayer of American Nazi Party leader George Rockwell appealed yesterday to the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals to reverse the verdict. The appellant is John Patler, who was found guilty by an Arlington, Va. circuit court of first degree murder in the shooting death of Rockwell and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Mr. Patler, 30, was a former captain in the American Nazi Party. He is free on a $40,000 bond. His attorneys allege 29 trial errors and claim that his guilt was not established beyond “reasonable doubt.” Rockwell was shot to death by a sniper on a roof of a shopping center near the party’s former headquarters in Arlington last summer. Mr. Patler’s lawyers say they will take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary.