Local News

Ex-Klan leader gets prison time for murder plot, weapons charges

Posted February 6, 2013
Updated February 11, 2013

— A former Ku Klux Klan leader was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for plotting to kill Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell more than a decade ago, as well as various weapons violations, authorities said.

Charles Robert Barefoot, 50, of Benson, was convicted last September of conspiracy to possess stolen firearms, possession of stolen firearms, solicitation to commit a crime of violence, receipt of explosives with intent to kill, illegal storage of explosive materials and distribution of explosive materials to an individual under age 21.

Barefoot, who has appealed his conviction, was the leader of the North Carolina chapter of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and three members of his group, including his then-17-year-old son, stole 30 firearms from a Benson home in October 2001, authorities said. Some of the guns were later sold, and Barefoot split the proceeds with other Klan officials.

Authorities also said Barefoot had a vendetta against Bizzell, blaming the sheriff for the failure of his nightclub and for preventing the Klan from marching in the 2001 Mule Days parade in Benson.

Barefoot began building pipe bombs and hatched a scheme to float down the Neuse River on a boat, get out in Smithfield, plant a bomb at the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and then get back on the boat, authorities said. There was no evidence that the plot was ever attempted.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • ncdime1235 Feb 8, 2013


    @Coach K is still great....how many white men do you know that have served over 30 years in prison for stealing a tv? Feel free to read the article above. I live right here in Raleigh, where on a daily I hear the "N" word and other degrading names being said by white people when they reference black people. I have worked for people who will not hire a black man in a position of authority because they are black and no other reason. I'm not saying all one race is this way or all one race is that way. I'm saying pull your head out from underneath that rock and face reality. Oh, and while you're at it, research Treyon Martin and George Zimmerman. If his mother hadn't contacted the "Revs", his death would have been swept underneath the rug.

  • geosol Feb 7, 2013

    What legislative committe was he on before he got convicted?

  • Coach K is still GREAT Feb 7, 2013

    You see them discremenated ALL THE TIME, where in the heck do you live???

    What group do white people have... I DO NOT support the klan, nor do I believe the good ole Reverend Barber is out for anything but seeing himself on the tv and newspapers... oh and $$$, the NAACP is a waste of time and does nothing but stir up trouble...

    By the way... I'm still waiting on an apology from the "Rev's" after the DUKE lacrosse L-I-E!!!!!!

  • ncdime1235 Feb 7, 2013

    And this is the same group that is suing the State of Georgia because they wouldn't approve their bid to Adopt-A-Highway. Ha!!! I would beg to differ that the KKK and the NAACP are not one in the same. I am a white woman and I see the discrimination against African Americans all the time, hence the need for the NAACP. It would be nice if we could all pull together like we did for those couple of days following 9/11.

  • novacrazy2000 Feb 7, 2013

    First off I want to say i don't support the klan or any other hate group including the naacp. But 15 yrs for a plot is kind of harsh when a guy last week got 6 - 18 moths for killing a child. Is it me or is there something wrong with this picture.

  • 426X3 Feb 7, 2013

    I still say certain powers to be have probably boosted recruitment for these hate groups.

  • jacamoe Feb 7, 2013

    Wow So glad the demographics of the country including North Carolina are changing.. kkk what a bunch of losers from a time of america's past shames

    I totally agree with you , but I don't think the NAACP is any different. I don't care for any such groups that places one over the other . I think just as the KKK was disbanded, the NAACP should be disbanded as well. We are not living in times of slavery anymore and I do not owe anyone , but the bank. There is unfortunately racism everywhere towards everyone from some time or another.

  • teleman60 Feb 7, 2013

    He's to be appointed Chief of Staff for "PAT" and lead adviser on the evils of gun control.

    Any relation to the recently purchased State Senate seat occupied by Chad Barefoot?

  • RadioDJ Feb 7, 2013

    So, which commission is he going to head up? Or Department. Sounds like he's highly qualified for SOME place in this administration.

  • billfranrichardson Feb 7, 2013

    At this point in time, one wonders if the court system even has him in custody so that he can begin his sentence. The long wait for justice and the fact that most of these offenders are still on the street is what is most scary to me.