Less than 48 hours after Eugene Weekly reported on notorious white supremacist Jacob Laskey’s attempt to promote a black metal festival called Murder Fest near Bend, he’s landed in county jail for an alleged attack on his partner.
Laskey, whose criminal history begins with an anti-semitic attack on a Eugene synagogue in 2002, is in jail for several charges related, including reckless driving and assault.
His recent arrest comes the day after one of the bands on the Murder Fest lineup he’s promoting backed out because they said they were anti-racist. Laskey has a history of espousing white supremacy ideology, as well as associating with white supremacists.
At 5:02 pm on Thursday, Jan. 5, Laskey was lodged in Deschutes County Jail with two counts each of assault and recklessly endangering and one count each of reckless driving and harassment. All charges are pending except a third degree assault, a felony, which wasn’t filed.
According to a witness, speaking anonymously because Laskey has a track record of violence, including a stabbing, he saw Laskey in a white pickup truck parked on the shoulder of Highway 97 “pummeling” his partner, Faith Laskey (aka Faith Luecke) around midday Jan. 5. “It didn’t have a cab cover or anything and you could see someone wailing on another person and I could see a kid in the middle seat,” he recalls.
The witness says he pulled over to intervene and saw another witness screaming for help. He says he took out his phone to capture Laskey’s license plate, which prompted Laskey to drive away, and the witness says he got in his vehicle and followed Laskey’s vehicle.
He followed Laskey, and saw him weaving through stopped cars and speeding through a center median. Moments later, the witness says that he saw Laskey’s partner, whose face had two prominent cuts, and her daughter walking on the shoulder of the road, trying to get away from Laskey.
When Deschutes County sheriff deputies arrived on the scene, the witness says they immediately arrested Laskey, as they knew who he was and his history.
According to Laskey’s inmate information on the Deschutes County Jail roster website, he was arrested by deputy Josh Spano.
Before joining the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Spano was a Bend police corporal and had been under investigation by the Bend Police Department for alleged ties to right wing extremism, according to OPB. While in uniform, he had worn a keychain with “Molon Labe” written on it, (Latin for the pro-gun phrase “come and take them”). In 2017, he also posted photos on Instagram of a patch referencing the III Percent insignia, a symbol popularized by far right groups. In August 2021, OPB reported that Spano was cleared of the alleged ties to right wing extremism.
Laskey’s current charges come two days after EW reported that he had been active on social media to promote Murder Fest. After EW posted the Jan. 4 story, one of the bands, Kvlt of Odium, pulled out of the event.
According to a post on Instagram, the band wrote “We do NOT support politics nor do we support racism. We are here for one reason and one reason only. Pure Anti-Religious Black Fucking Metal.”
Posting a response on his @Cuthean_Productions Instagram account, Laksey shared a screenshot of his reply to the band, saying his phone had been blowing up with death threats and demands for him to shut down Murder Fest. “We hate politics, and we’re not racist,” Laskey wrote, “we are Theistic LaVeyan Satanist, though on a personal level we have a past which Antifa won’t let us forget.”
Laskey’s history includes the 2002 hate crime against Eugene’s Temple Beth Israel, as well as for threatening to kill a witness in 2004. He was also arrested for stabbing fellow American Front member Devin Reid Wolf, 42, of Eugene. American Front is a racist skinhead group. And in December 2021, Laskey had attacked his father.
As part of Laskey’s past criminal activity, he had been ordered to cut ties with white supremacist groups. A June 2022 court order by Judge Michael McShane ruled that Laskey not only had to take all mental health medications and set up a mentoring program with Life After Hate, which helps people leave the far-right ideology, but he was also to remove all white supremacy from his life.