When Donald Trump said there are “very fine people on both sides” of the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, one wonders if the president had in mind someone like Nicholas Wesley Rose.
The 28-year-old’s parents contacted the Orange Police Department in April 2018 to report their son’s anti-Semitic rhetoric was of concern, especially when Rose talked of intending to “get a gun and kill some Jews.”
A search of Rose’s Irvine apartment produced anti-Jewish literature and a journal full of white supremacist and anti-Jewish writings by the resident, including a list of steps titled “Killing My First Jew” and a “Kill List” that included Jewish community members, including well-known people in the entertainment industry.
Of course, journaling can be a way to expunge one’s brain of bad thoughts, but most troubling was the police search also uncovered note cards referencing a synagogue and Greek Orthodox church in Irvine and a Russian Orthodox Church in Lake Forest. Officials at the Orthodox churches had apparently spoken sympathetically of Jewish people.
The notes indicate Rose conducted extensive internet searches of all three houses of worship as well as visited them in December 2017 and April 2018.
Investigators also found Rose web searches of white supremacy ideology, anti-Semitism and the effective range of a silenced .22 long range rifle. In his car, police found hundreds of rounds of .22 caliber ammunition, a shovel and a sleeping bag.
On Friday, Rose pleaded guilty to one felony count of carrying a loaded firearm that was not registered to him and three misdemeanor counts of violation of civil rights in connection with threats made to the synagogue and two churches. He had originally faced three felony counts of attempted criminal threats.
Rose was sentenced to 825 days in Orange County Jail, one year in a residential mental health treatment program, and five years formal probation with GPS monitoring. He is also required to stay 500 yards away from his victims and cooperate with the Orange County Probation Department regarding additional mental health treatment.
“There is no place for hate,” says District Attorney Todd Spitzer in an OCDA conviction statement. “He is a danger to society and every resident of Orange County should be aware of the threat he poses.”
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.