MERIDIAN, Miss. (Nov. 28)
A 21 year-old alleged Klu Klux Klan member was sentenced to 30 years in the Mississippi Penitentiary today for attempting to dynamite the home of a prominent Jewish businessman last June 30 in a personal vendetta against a “Communist-Jewish conspiracy.” Lauderdale County Circuit Judge Lester Williamson pronounced sentence on Thomas Albert Tarrants III of Mobile, Ala. Tarrants was spotted by two detectives planting a box containing 29 sticks of dynamite and a 30-minute timing device at the fashionable home of Meyer Davidson. Detectives were staked out because of a wave of anti-Semitic terror attacks by night riders in and around Meridian. In Tarrants’ possession was a handwritten diary in which he declared that since March 23, 1968 he had been actively engaged in an underground guerrilla war against the “Communist -Jewish conspiracy” using any means necessary. Defense Attorney Thomas Haas, of Mobile, told the jury that Tarrants’ mind had become diseased with an anti-Communist obsession until he felt he was fighting “for his God and his country.” He urged them to find him insane and put him “where he can be treated by competent physicians.” District Attorney George Warner asked for the death penalty under Mississippi’s tough bombing law.