A card-carrying neo-Nazi who attended the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison Friday for stopping an Amtrak train in Nebraska to “save the train from black people.”
Pictures of Taylor Michael Wilson marching in Charlottesville started circulating online over the weekend after news broke that the 25-year-old Missourian had been sentenced for the Oct. 23, 2017, train incident, deemed an act of "domestic terror." Wilson broke into the secure engine compartment of an Amtrak train as it traveled through rural Nebraska, and pulled the emergency brake, bringing it to a screeching halt. As passengers received word that someone had broken into the compartment, some panicked and tried to escape through the train’s windows, according to court documents.
Two months earlier, Wilson had traveled to Charlottesville to participate in the violent ‘Unite the Right” rally, according to the complaint, and video stills that surfaced Saturday showed him marching alongside James Alex Fields Jr., the young neo-Nazi who rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, sending bodies flying and killing Heather Heyer.
Earlier this year, Wilson pleaded guilty to federal domestic terror charges linked to the Amtrak incident. Domestic terror charges are very rare, given that there’s no federal domestic terror statute. Wilson was prosecuted under a law that specifically addresses terror attacks against railroad carriers and other mass transportation systems.
When law enforcement apprehended Wilson on the train, they discovered he was armed with a fully loaded .38 caliber handgun and a loaded speedloader. Passengers also found his backpack containing another four loaded speedloaders, ammunition, a knife, a hammer and a gas mask.
At the time of his arrest, Wilson was also carrying his membership card to National Socialist Movement, a hardcore neo-Nazi group.
Character witnesses told investigators that Wilson had in the past talked about “killing black people,” especially during the anti-police brutality protests in St. Louis following the acquittal of a police officer for killing a black man. He was also suspected of putting up “whites only” signs at businesses.
The complaint also states that Wilson was named as a suspect in a road rage incident in 2016. A black woman reported that he’d pointed a handgun at her while driving, “for no apparent reason.”