On Sept. 25, prosecuting deputy district attorney Andrew Katz gathered the defendants’ lawyers into a room and offered deals if they pled guilty to assault: six years for Hanson, Powell would get four, Hicks seven, all charges against Brooks dismissed, and hate-crime enhancements against the four dropped. Rather than take the deals, though, the attorneys jockeyed for more leniency. Katz pulled the deal two weeks later, much to the chagrin of Brooks’ lawyer, Rey Ochoa. The DA’s maneuver, the Seal Beach lawyer wrote in an Oct. 26 motion, “egregiously interfered with the effectiveness of defense counseling in advising and representing their clients in this litigation. This is clearly an impingement on the defendants’ rights to effective assistance of counsel.”

“The attorneys rejected them and sought better deals, so it wasn’t binding,” Katz wrote in a rejoinder the following day. “The hateful and dangerous nature of the crime necessitates a more demanding penalty than the one previously offered by the prosecutor. It would be a travesty of justice to allow these defendants any leniency.”

What changed Katz’s mind? Recordings of a radio show featuring Hicks that spelled out his desires to kill Mexicans.

For months, Hicks had co-hosted a program on Radio White, an Orange-based Internet-radio service that calls itself the nation’s longest-running white-power station. His partner was Martin Cox, who now lives in Idaho but is a legendary figure in Orange County’s skinhead scene due to his hatecore band Extreme Hatred. The two were close—Hicks openly called himself a “brown noser” of Cox and, years ago, was set to join Extreme Hatred but was hauled off to jail.

Their show, 88 Degrees, featured the duo playing white-power songs while gossiping, telling stories of their checkered pasts and railing against minorities. On the April 10 episode of the show, for instance, Hicks talked about “a little spic” at his construction job, then opined that “these Mexicans want [the United States] to be an overrun, fucking Third World piece of shit, these fucking pieces of shit.”

Later in the program, while reminiscing about seeing Extreme Hatred in various Orange County venues over the years, Hicks said, “It was good times. We’d go; we’d get drunk; we’d listen to good bands; we’d fill ourselves full of hatred. I know myself . . .”

At that point, Hicks caught himself and slowly stated, “Well, allegedly, we’d all go out and commit hate crimes. Allegedly.” He laughed and continued, “It’s not a hate crime if you love doing it.”

A week later, Cox and Hicks were ranting about the state of this country under President Barack Obama, about how it was time for whites to become conscious and get ready to retake America. “It’s kill or be killed, in my opinion,” said Hicks. “And I think it is time to actually go out and kill.”

“No more Mr. Nice Guy,” Cox replied. “It’s coming.”

But Cox emphasized to listeners that the true enemies weren’t blacks and Mexicans, but rather the Jews and other internationalists who ruled the world. Minorities, he said, were “like a side project. They can be cleaned up in a weekend.”

“Exactly,” agreed Hicks, who had recently moved to Huntington Beach from Riverside. “That’s, that’s personal shit. That’s stuff to do in your own personal neighborhood; take care of that yourself.”

Hicks continued to rile himself up a couple of minutes later. “Let’s make a difference,” Hicks growled to his audience. “If we don’t stand up and take care of what we need to do right now, I think we’re going to lose. We need to do this now. NOW. It is the time.”

Just a month before the Slater Slums smackdown, Cox and Hicks were discussing the times when Cox assaulted African-Americans in Los Angeles County Jail, laughingly referring to them as “nigger fights.”

“We’re a pretty hateful couple of guys,” Hicks said with pride.

*     *      * 

Ochoa defended Hicks’ recordings as an “exercise in free speech” in a legal motion. But he quickly went on the offensive against OC Weekly: This writer had broken the story about Hicks’ show on the Weekly’s Navel Gazing blog (see “Did a Candy-Ass Gang Member Plan to Murder a Mexican Months Before Their Slater Slums Smackdown?” Oct. 5). He claimed the Weekly had “provided information to the prosecution, and it appears that the prosecution is relying upon this rank hearsay to fortify his case or to trade information,” and therefore, the charges against his client should be dismissed.

“The news media should get its facts from the authorities,” Ochoa continued. “The authorities should not base their cases on published media. Communications with the Weekly by this prosecutor raise great ethical issues in this case. The prosecutor has an affirmative duty to independently pursue his own investigation and not to curry the favor of the press or the populace, nor to give the appearance of doing so.”

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