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Two Suspects With Ties To KKK Appear In Court On Murder Charges

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SAMPSON COUNTY, N.C. — Two murder suspects with ties to the Ku Klux Klan appeared in court Monday in Sampson County.

Mark Anthony Denning, 24, of Newport, and Sharon Renee Barefoot, 34, of Benson, were in court Monday to answer to murder charges after a decomposed body was found in a field on Jan. 2, 2002. Evidence suggests the victim, who has not been identified, was shot and had been killed at least a year prior to being found.

The judge refused to allow cameras into the courtroom Monday in the interest of protecting the defendants, who are reportedly members of the Ku Klux Klan. Security was also tight in the courtroom after threats were received at the Sampson County Sheriff's Office.

Sharon Renee Barefoot is the estranged wife of Charles Barefoot, who is also known as Junior. Charles Barefoot is the grand dragon of his own splinter group of the KKK. Last July, Charles Barefoot and his son, Daniel, were arrested after authorities discovered a plot to blow up the Johnston County Courthouse and kill the sheriff. At that time, Sandra Barefoot had a protection order against her husband.

Marvin Glen Gautier, 50, of Benson, and Michael Anthony Brewer, 30, of Lumberton were charged Wednesday in the shooting death of the man, who also may have been involved with the Klan, according to investigators.

Bond has not been set in any of the cases. Denning and Barefoot will receive court-appointed attorneys. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Jan. 31.

Officials say more arrests could be pending.


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