Cobb returns property; Metzger will not
LEITH, N.D. — White supremacist Craig Cobb has deeded his remaining property in Leith back to the city, Mayor Ryan Schock said Tuesday, calling it a “huge” relief for the small town that Cobb had targeted for turning into an all-white enclave.
Cobb purchased a dozen lots in Leith between September 2011 and October 2012 and moved to the city last April with hopes of attracting enough like-minded people to take over the town’s government.
Last month, while in jail on terrorizing charges, he sold his house in Leith, the two lots on which it sits and a third lot to a man from nearby Carson who said he plans to use the property for storage.
Cobb also had previously deeded one lot each to fellow white supremacist Alex Linder, white separatist Tom Metzger and National Socialist Movement Commander Jeff Schoep.
Metzger said by email Tuesday that he doesn’t plan to return his vacant lot to the city.
“After the shaft the system is giving to Craig Cobb, I have no interest in giving anything back,” he wrote, adding he is “getting suggestions from many associates on how to manage the property.”
Schoep, whose lot in Leith contains the old creamery next to Cobb’s former house, and Linder, whose lot is vacant, did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Cobb deeded his remaining six lots back to the city on Friday, Schock said.
“It’s a really good feeling,” Shock said. “It kind of puts a closing on it, I guess.”
Last week, Cobb entered guilty pleas to one count of felony terrorizing and five counts of misdemeanor menacing for confronting people in Leith in November, including while he and another man were on an armed patrol of the city.
However, the judge deferred acceptance of the plea agreement and ordered a presentence investigation.
Grant County State’s Attorney Todd Schwarz said during Thursday’s plea hearing that Cobb was expected to deed his lots back to the city or a disinterested third party.
Under the recommended sentence in the plea agreement, Cobb, who has been in jail since Nov. 16, would not serve any additional jail time. He would be on supervised probation for four years with several conditions.
Schock said he would still like to see Cobb serve additional time behind bars, noting that Cobb remains in jail in Mercer County during the pre-sentence investigation.
“Every day helps, I guess,” Schock said.
Schock thanked Grant County Sheriff Steve Bay and his department for helping Cobb transfer ownership of his Leith properties. Bay confirmed in an interview Tuesday that he put Cobb in touch with the man who purchased his house in Leith, and that he provided Cobb with the paperwork in jail for the deed transfers.
“We just made sure that the right people got together,” Bay said.
Reach Nowatzki at (701) 255-5607 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org