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Nick R. Martin

Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him at nick@talkingpointsmemo.com

Articles by Nick

George Zimmerman pleaded not guilty, again, on Tuesday in the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

According to ABC News, Zimmerman's attorney appeared in court on his client's behalf and entered a plea of not guilty during a formal arraignment on a second-degree murder charge in the Feb. 26 killing.

The attorney, Mark O'Mara, already filed paperwork last month indicating Zimmerman's not guilty plea, but it had not been entered in person.

The television network said Zimmerman, who has been in hiding since his release from jail on bond last month, was not at the hearing.

Arizona white supremacist JT Ready was many things before his death, but he was apparently not the one of the people who opened fire on a group of immigrants, killing two of them, last month in the desert north of Tucson.

Some in Arizona had speculated that Ready was involved in the killings ever since news surfaced that shooters wearing camouflage had ambushed a group of 20 to 30 immigrants the night of April 8 in a part of the desert the border vigilante was known to visit on armed patrols, looking for what he described as "narco terrorists."

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Neo-Nazi and border vigilante JT Ready, who authorities said carried out a mass murder-suicide near Phoenix this week, was the target of a federal domestic terrorism investigation at the time of the incident, the head of the FBI's Phoenix office revealed late Friday.

James Turgal, the special agent in charge of the FBI in Phoenix, told an Arizona television station the probe had been active less than five years and that investigators were looking into whether Ready was involved in a series of shootings of immigrants in the desert there.

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A full three months before what police said was his fatal rampage this week, Arizona white supremacist JT Ready spilled his guts to TPM.

Ready was angry and wanted to be understood. He was running as a long shot candidate for sheriff of Pinal County, Ariz., but he was tired of being seen as a caricature.

On Jan. 23, following an interview by phone about his candidacy, the border vigilante and longtime neo-Nazi sent an email to TPM that totaled more than 4,800 words. It was obviously written in advance, but it revealed bits of his life story and told how he became arguably the loudest racist in the state.

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The legal team for George Zimmerman said on Friday their client received "warm support" during the first day back of taking donations for his defense in the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

While the team didn't disclose how much was donated to Zimmerman from late Thursday until Friday afternoon, a posting on their website said he received donations ranging from $1 to $500, with the average donation being about $20.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the case that has drawn international attention. He is accused of confronting and killing the teen, who he said looked suspicious. He later said he killed Martin in self-defense.

Using a crudely built website and a PayPal account, Zimmerman managed to raise $200,000 on his own before hiring his current lawyers. After having Zimmerman shut down his own website last week, the attorneys announced they were setting up a new site to provide updates on the case as well as take donations for his defense.

The interim chief of the Sanford, Fla., police department promised on Friday he would conduct a full review of the agency, which came under intense scrutiny because of its handling of the Trayvon Martin case.

The Orlando Sentinel reported Chief Richard Myers promised an "A-to-Z review" of the department.

"I've been working on divisive issues for 20 years," he said, according to the newspaper. "I will study, learn and listen, but most of all listen."

George Zimmerman began late Thursday to again ask his supporters to help pay for his defense in the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman already raised more than $200,000 for his defense with a crudely built website and a PayPal account that he launched before being charged last month with second-degree murder in the killing, which has drawn international attention.

Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, ordered him to shut down the website last week. However, after learning that their client had raised so much cash, the defense team launched their own site days later and vowed to begin taking donations again.

A posting on the site late Thursday said a new PayPal account had been established. The names of donors, it said, would be kept "strictly confidential."

Six anti-tank grenades designed to be fired from a launcher were discovered on Wednesday at the scene of a horrific Arizona mass murder-suicide, which authorities said was carried out by well known white supremacist JT Ready.

The discovery helped expand the probe of the killings to the federal level and has led investigators with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to begin looking into how Ready was able to obtain the illegal explosives, according to ATF special agent Tom Mangan.

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As Russell Pearce's power in Arizona politics grew over the years, so too did questions about his past friendship with a man who went on to become the most vocal neo Nazi in the state.

So when that neo Nazi reportedly massacred four people in a suburban Phoenix home before turning the gun on himself on Wednesday, reporters naturally turned to the former state Senate president and primary sponsor of Arizona's tough immigration law to comment on the killings.

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Updated: May 2, 2012, 10:26 PM

Longtime white supremacist and border vigilante JT Ready saw himself as part of a war that few others would fight. He amassed weapons. He donned a uniform. He formed his own brigade of volunteers to walk alongside him as he hunted what he described as "narco terrorists" flowing across the Arizona-Mexico border.

On Wednesday, reports out of Arizona said Ready died, not at the hands of drug runners, but with his own gun during a mad rampage inside a suburban home just east of Phoenix. Along the way, the reports said, he took the lives of four other people, including a toddler.

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