Ex-Klansman testifies against former leader

By David McArthur - bio | email
Posted By Mike Dever - email

BRANDENBURG, KY (WAVE) - Testimony continued Thursday in Meade County in the case against a Kentucky chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. The civil suit is against the group's leader and another member accused of attacking a Hispanic teen in 2006 at the Meade County Fair. WAVE 3's David McArthur has the latest.

Security remained tight Thursday as two Klan members testified against their former leader.

An emotional Kale Kelly took the stand Thursday, testifying against Ron Edwards, the Imperial Wizard of the Imperial Klans of America. Both Edwards and Jarrod Hensley - another former member of the IKA, are being sued for their alleged involvement in the severe beating of 16-year-old Jordan Gruver in August of 2006.

Kelly told the jury he was misguided and influenced by Edwards and the IKA, and described Edwards as a dangerous, hate-filled man.

And even though Edwards is not accused of being directly involved in the attack, the Kelly said says he created the environment that led to the attack.

"Mr. Edwards is a very dangerous man to me," Kelly said. "He promotes violence and hatred among anybody who he feels threatens him - minorities Jews, Blacks - I lived with him. I know this."

Kelly also testified that Edwards led a failed plot to kill the co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of Gruver.

Kelly said Edwards wanted to kill civil rights attorney Morris Dees over a suit he brought against another white supremacist group in 1999. Edwards was never charged.

Edwards was expected to take the stand later today. His co-defendant, Hensley, has already served time for criminal charges related to this case.

Both men have elected to serve as their own legal counsel.