Mid-South man pleads guilty in plot to shoot Obama

By Janice Broach - bio | email

JACKSON, TN (WMC-TV) - A Mid-South teenager who threatened to kill President Obama and murder more than 100 African-Americans pleaded guilty today to several charges.

Paul Schlesselman, a self-professed skin head from West Helena, Arkansas is accused of plotting to kill then presidential candidate Barack Obama.  Along with Schlesselman, Daniel Cowart from Bell, Tennessee was also charged.

Schlesselman and Cowart met over the internet.

In an interview two years ago, Haywood County Sheriff Melvin Bond says the two were cold and direct when they were questioned.

"They were stern, still-faced," Bond said.  "They just answered whatever you want to know in their words; they knew the consequences. They didn't care if it means dying; they were ready to die."

Federal prosecutors described the two as white supremacist skin heads who hatched a plot for a cross country robbery and the killing spree.  They were arrested in October of 2008.

Investigators said even though the two had enough weapons to commit the murders, they never got close to carrying out their plans. Federal agents said the two planned to shoot Obama from a speeding car while wearing white tuxedos and top hats.

Paul Schlesselman will be sentenced in April. He faces up to ten years in prison. Daniel Cowart remains in custody.

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