Columbus, Georgia National Alliance member Michael Carothers is due to be released from jail in a little more than a month after pleading guilty to assaulting a black man with pepper spray. When he gets out he is not to be seen in the jurisdiction of the court system that sent him there, but since he broke up with his girlfriend in Dothan, Alabama that means he’s homeless. So now we are supposed to see him as a victim who was wrongly convicted.
One People’s Project
COLUMBUS, GA—Last year, when white supremacist Michael Carothers, pled guilty to assaulting a black man with pepper spray, he was sentenced to a year in prison and banishment from the six-county Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit for the nine-year length of his probation.
At the time he was fine with his sentence, as he planned to live with one of his girlfriends in Dothan, Alabama named Lori K. Taylor . Things have changed, however. Over the course of the past year Carothers and Taylor have broken up, and as a result he has nowhere to go when he is released on Aug. 22. To that end, he appeared in court this week to recind his guilty plea and go to trial on the charges that he pulled up in his car alongside a 26-year-old black man, exited the car, pepper sprayed the man on his neck returned to his car and sped off.
Carothers, who as a National Alliance member known as “Michael Weaver” was known for his distribution of racist flyers throughout Columbus, filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea shortly after his conviction, arguing that his plea wasn’t voluntarily given and his counsel was ineffective. On June 29, Carothers testified that upon his release he would be homeless since he cannot return to his father’s home. “I have nowhere to go,” Carothers said. “I have nowhere to live.”
In November, Carothers admitted that on Dec. 4, 2010 he spotted the man he would attack walking on Rose Hill Street in Columbus around 6 p.m. and slowly pulled up alongside him in a car. When the man got on the sidewalk and kept walking, Carothers stopped his car, got out, sprayed pepper spray on the man’s neck, returned to his car and drove away. An hour later he was arrested and initially charged with a misdemeanor simple battery charge. After a Columbus police detective familiar with Carothers urged the Columbus Solicitor General to take a another look at the misdemeanor charge, and after further investigation, the charges were upgraded to aggravated assault. In his appeal to change his plea, Carothers is using his original story, that in truth he was being carjacked and that he was merely defending himself, but there has been no evidence to support this scenario.
Carothers is also attempting to argue that his white supremacist political beliefs are the true reason for his legal troubles, saying he’s the only person in Columbus to be indicted for aggravated assault because pepper spray was the weapon. Assistant District Attorney Michael Craig responded by listing off numerous weapons that qualify for the felony charge. “Do you have knowledge that a stick can cause serious injury?” Craig asked Carothers. “A lit cigarette, a baseball bat, a box cutter, a tree limb can all be used to cause aggravated assault.”
The biggest issue for Carothers is if the guilty plea is withdrawn, that would mean the entire trial will go back to square one, and Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Bobby Peters informed him that if he is found guilty, he will be facing 20 years in prison as was the case before the plea. Peters also said that his banishment could be lifted before the nine-year probation is up. The court recessed and will wait for the complete transcript of Carothers’ guilty plea.
Meanwhile, Carothers is getting newfound support from white supremacists that are currently writing about him based on his self-defense narrative, thanks to an article published on the Council of Conservative Citizens’ website. Among the supporters is Susan Yarbrough, who writes on Examiner.com under her maiden name “Susan Hillman”. Yarbrough is the wife of Gary Yarbrough, who is serving up to 60 years in prison for his weapons conviction related to his activities as a member of the neo-Nazi terrorist group the Order. She is also currently working to secure her husband’s parole as well. In a series of emails to One People’s Project, she denies that Yarbrough is not involved in neo-Nazi activities, a point to be made incidentially should he ever see parole. “My husband’s past is his past…and none of nobody’s business cause he is doing his time,” she wrote. “He is not a Nazi and neither am (I)…so think what ya want.”
Yarbrough also denies that Carothers is a white supremacist, citing the support he receives from a Jewish writer named Nicholas Stix. “I might not be a Nazi, but the last I heard Jews did not sympathize with people of Michael’s beliefs. “ While Stix is no fan of the National Alliance, he is a writer who is regularly seen among the white supremacist circles. His article supporting Carothers was found on the white supremacist website VDARE, and the entry on Stix’s blog promoting the article was titled “The Michael Weaver/Carothers Case: Are Neo-Nazis the New Canaries in the Coalmine?”
Carothers can possibly be released on parole before his Aug. 22 release date.