Cary man pleads guilty to making anti-Semitic threats at synagogue

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Cary man who was charged with burning a cross at a town park and making anti-Semitic comments at a synagogue in 2018 has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.

William Josephus Warden, now 21, was initially charged with ethnic intimidation as well as a charge of placing a burning cross without permission.

In court on Wednesday, William Warden’s attorney entered a guilty plea.

Warden pleaded guilty to ethnic intimidation in connection with the anti-Semitic comments he made at the synagogue.

If Warden completes another 12 months at a “24-hour intensive residential facility,” the case will be dismissed.

CBS 17 will update this story as it develops.

William Warden on Nov. 4, 2018 (Raleigh/Wake CCBI)

Last year, Cary police said William Warden went to the Congregation of Shaarei Shalom in Cary on Nov. 3, 2018 around 10:15 p.m. He rang their smart doorbell and someone answered the call remotely.

At that point, Cary police said William Warden made a “number of disparaging statements against the Jewish religion and people of the Jewish faith.”

Rabbi Seth Klayman said William Warden made “typical anti-Semitic tropes” like “get out of the government” and “get out of Cary.”

A Cary police investigation shows William Warden burned a cross at Bond Park in Cary on Oct. 26.

CBS 17 obtained warrants in the days after William Warden’s arrest that showed Warden was involved in other neo-Nazi incidents in Cary.

According to authorities, a paper flier with a swastika and the words “Aryan Youth” were passed out at homes in the area of Roebling Lane in Cary on the morning of Oct. 16, 2018.

On the flier was a link to a Soundcloud music channel. The channel contained “numerous songs bearing titles which suggest a strong anti-Semitic and anti-African ideology,” as well as “a partial image of a swastika flag along with the words ‘Will Warden’ and ‘Morrisville, North Carolina…’ according to warrants.

On or around Oct. 18, 2018, at least 60 fliers were reported in the same area of Cary. Those fliers contained an image of a swastika and the words, in all capital letters, “…JOIN US IN THE STRUGGLE FOR GLOBAL WHITE SUPREMACY AT THE DAILY STORMER.”

The Daily Stormer is a neo-Nazi message board and website “that advocates for the genocide of Jews,” according to the warrant.

Cary police notified one of their detectives about the fliers and Soundcloud and that detective then reached out to William Warden’s parents, Billy Warden and Lucy Inman, to set up an interview, warrants show.

The detective met William Warden on Nov. 1 at a Starbucks in Cary to conduct the interview. An FBI agent was also present for the interview.

Warrants show that the detective reported that “(William) Warden appeared both sincere and unusually candid with his statements” and that he “freely admitted to being the owner of the…Soundcloud account as well as distributing the…fliers.”

Warrants also show that William Warden “emphatically” told the detective that “he strongly subscribes to the anti-Semitic ideology” and that “he believes Jews are running the country on the backs of the working class white male.”

William Warden also told the detective that “he belongs to a group of like-minded individuals who live in the area.” Warden refused to identify other members of the group or say how many people were in the group.

According to warrants, Warden did tell authorities that the group is named the “Traditionalist Youth Network” and operates on the social media platform Gab, as well as Facebook.

Gab has been in the news recently after it was revealed that accused Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers was active on the social media platform. Bowers is charged with killing 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

William Warden told authorities that he believed Bowers was “out of options,” but that “he himself is not a supporter of violence, but added that he would not stand in the way of others who commit it,” according to warrants.

The detective reported William Warden told him he would most likely not tell him beforehand if he knew of an impending act of violence against a person and “cited his hatred for Jews and perceived overreach of law enforcement as justification for that position,” warrants show.

The ethnic intimidation incident at the synagogue occurred just two days after William Warden’s interview with police and the FBI.

William Warden was arrested Nov. 4 after police determined that, based on comments made at the synagogue and images and text found on WIlliam Warden’s Soundcloud, he “might be intending to conduct an act of violence against a protected class of individuals” and that the “violent act might be imminent and scheduled to occur on Nov. 5, 2018,” according to warrants.His next court date is scheduled for Dec. 10.

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