Friday, November 13, 2020

White supremacists killed Ethiopian man but his son thrives

 The California lawyer who for years made sure white supremacist Tom Metzger made payments on a judgment for his role in the killing of an Ethiopian man studying in the U.S. took no money for himself from the case but ended up with something priceless: a son.


Attorney James McElroy became close with the victim’s family and eventually adopted the man’s son, who was 7 at the time of the killing and grew up to be an airline pilot. McElroy calls the bond with his son “the best fee that I ever got out of a pro bono case.”

McElroy has been largely quiet about the adoption. But he feels more comfortable speaking publicly since Metzger, 82, died last week in Hemet, California, from complications of Parkinson’s disease.

McElroy, 69, worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center to get a $12.5 million award against Metzger, a onetime leader of the Ku Klux Klan who was linked to the 1988 murder of Mulugeta Seraw, a 28-year-old college student who was clubbed over the head with a baseball bat in Portland, Oregon.

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