Local News

Search Unearths New Evidence in Murder Case

Posted Updated

FAYETTEVILLE — When police decided to spring a surprise search on a soldier suspected in connection with a double murder,they found some surprises themselves. Police now have in their possessionan affidavit filled with words and symbols of hatred that they say ledup to two racially charged killings.

They say they wanted to take photographs of Malcolm Wright's tattoos,in particular, a spider tattoo on his arm. In some circles, such a tattoo indicates the bearer has committed murder. Wright is one of threeformer Fort Bragg soldiers facing charges in connection with the deaths ofJackie Burden and Michael James who were gunned down on a FayettevilleStreet.

In order to obtain the search warrant, investigators had to documentthe case they had built so far. That affidavit details what allegedlyhappened before the shootings of Burden and James and sheds more light onWright and his suspected involvement.

Much of the search warrant affidavit describes a police interview withRandy Meadows, who says he was the driver the night of the crime. As partof a plea bargain, Meadows has agreed to testify against James Burmeisterand Wright. Burmeister's trial is now in the jury selection phase.Wright's trial is planned for March, 1997 in another county.

The affidavit describes what police say are the events leading up thethe killings.

"Burmeister put the gun in his belt and said 'Maybe I'll earn my spiderweb tonight'," the document states.

Later, according to the affidavit, whenever the three men saw a blackperson, Burmeister would point his finger as if he were shooting a gun andsay "Die N-----".

Investigators say Burmeister and Wright got out of the car when theysaw two African-Americans walking. According to the warrant, Meadows saidWright told him if he and Burmeister failed to return within 15 minutesMeadows should leave because the other men would be running from someone.

Meadows says he heard shots moments later.

The papers also describe what investigators found in Wright's barracksroom at Fort Bragg. The contents included so-called skinhead apparel,including black boots with white laces, two Nazi flags and 16 compactdiscs with titles like "Brutal Attack" , "Blood, Fire, Death" and "Born toHate".

There were also white supremacist materials including 19 copies of the"White Genocide Manifesto", a handbook titled "We Are the Klan, Bring Backthe Dream", and the newspaperWhite Patriot.

The room also reportedly held Aryan Nation pamphlets and racial comicbooks about African-Americans.

Investigators also discovered a letter written by Wright in which headmitted he was a skinhead and said he joined the army to get thetraining.

An NAACP official says he finds all of this very disturbing.

After their arrests, Burmeister, Wright and Meadows were dischargedfrom the 82nd Airborne Division. The division has also adopted several newpolicies against white supremacist activity and has sought out otherskinheads.

Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.