Saturday, July 10, 2010

One for the “I'll Never Regret Getting This Tattoo” File

The lawyer for a Bells man who faces sentencing in a plot to kill more than 100 black people, including President Barack Obama, has filed a motion asking that he be transported to the Madison County Jail for tattoo alteration before he is sent to federal prison.

Daniel Cowart, 21, pleaded guilty in March to eight federal charges including threatening to kill Obama — who was a candidate for president at the time authorities discovered the plot — and transporting firearms, ammunition and a short-barreled shotgun in interstate commerce for the purpose of committing robberies, burglaries and murders.

Cowart and Paul Schlesselman, of Helena-West Helena, Ark., were arrested in October 2008 and charged with planning a multistate robbery and killing spree, which would end in an attempt to kill Obama.

Schlesselman was sentenced to 10 years, and Cowart faces a possible 12- to 18-year sentence at a hearing scheduled for Aug. 13.

Cowart's lawyer, Joe Byrd Jr., filed a sealed motion on June 27, along with several sealed exhibits.

The government's response, filed on July 2, is not sealed and references Byrd's request that Cowart be transported to Madison County to have his tattoos altered. Cowart is being held in the Obion County Jail.

Pictures of Cowart show he has at least two large tattoos — a swastika on his right shoulder and an iron cross on the left side of his chest.…

The government's response asks that Cowart not be granted transport, arguing that giving Cowart special permission to undergo voluntary cosmetic surgery would cause several problems for the U.S. Marshals Service.

“The Marshals Service is wary of setting a precedent whereby they are obligated to devote substantial resources to transporting and escorting inmates between facilities for the purposes of voluntary cosmetic surgery,” the response says. “Besides,”" a Marshall Service representative said, “how often do you get a ringside seat to the Karmic wheel turning?”


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