Note that Steele's wife still refuses to talk to the media.
Federal prosecutors want Edgar J. Steele held without bail before his trial on murder-for-hire charges. Steele, 64, was charged Friday - the same day prosecutors say he wanted an acquaintance to kill his wife and mother-in-law in a car crash meant to look like an accident.
Steele is well-known from his work for hate groups such as the Aryan Nations and other high-profile clients, including the McGuckin family, who held off police during a 2001 Idaho standoff. He's also known for vocal anti-Semitic and racist rants on the Internet.
Steele unsuccessfully defended the Aryan Nations and its founder, Richard Butler, in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit brought against them in 2000. That loss ultimately bankrupted the Aryan Nations.
A confidential witness occasionally employed by Steele told FBI agents last week that Steele would pay him to murder the women - as much as $125,000, if an insurance policy paid off - say court documents obtained by the Statesman and later sealed by the court.
"Edgar Steele told (the witness) that he has no second thoughts and he wants the plan carried out," the affidavit said. "This statement was made multiple times during the meet."
Steele was scheduled to be in court Monday, but prosecutors asked for more time and asked a federal judge for a hearing on whether to hold Steele without bail, saying he is a flight risk and the crime he's charged with carries a maximum sentence of life in prison or death if he's convicted.
According to court documents, the witness was supposed to kill the women Friday because Steele had an alibi for that day. So agents concealed a device on the informant and recorded Steele planning the murders, the document said.
Steele's wife declined to comment to the Statesman when reached by cell phone on Monday.
Kathleen Kreller: 377-6418