Hundreds Attend Arkansas Funeral for Cops Slain by Man and Teen Son

Jerry Kane and son Joseph didn't trust government officials.

May 24, 2010— -- As a small Arkansas town buried two officers gunned down during a traffic stop, new details emerged today about the father and son whose strident anti-government views led them to kill the officers and later die in a gun battle with police.

West Memphis Police Sgt. Brandon Paudert, 39, and Officer Bill Evans, 38, were shot to death during a traffic stop, prompting a manhunt that ended with Jerry R. Kane Jr., 45, and son Joseph, 16, dead in a hail of gunfire in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Sheriff Dick Busby of Crittenden County and his chief deputy, W. A. Wren, were wounded.

Hundreds of mourners paid their respect to the fallen police officers. Family members, neighbors and law enforcement officers filled the West Memphis High School gym to remember Paudert, 39, whose casket was draped in an American flag. He is the son of West Memphis Police Chief Robert Paudert. Hours later, Evans' funeral was held in the gym.

A portrait has emerged of Kane as a man with strong anti-government views who toured the country with his son offering seminars on what he called "mortgage fraud" and debt avoidance, according to interviews and Kane's Internet video. Kane had given a two-day seminar in Las Vegas that ended May 16.

Included in the portrait is a disturbing view of his son.

"Jerry raised a time bomb," said Patrick Suarez, a Kane family friend, told "Fathers have to be careful with what they do with their sons."

Donna Le Wray, 50, of Clearwater, Fla., who identified herself as Kane's common law wife, was quoted in published reports saying that authorities told her it was the son, Joseph, who opened fire on the police.

"The story is a child who never had a parent who was a parent in a mainstream responsible way," Suarez said. "We knew Joe when he was 10-, 11-, 12-years-old and, with all due respect to the dead, he was a pain in the butt. He was rude. He treated elders as equals. He was brash. He didn't know how to limit or establish any boundaries."

When Suarez and others tried speaking with the father about his son, Suarez said, Kane would laugh.

"I would say, 'First of all, kids needs to be in school,'" Suarez recalled. "And Jerry would say, 'Well, I'm homeschooling him.' But Jerry you're not a teacher… I said, "Joe is not civil. You know he needs to learn manners.' And Jerry just laughed. I said, 'Jerry, this isn't funny."

Authorities said Officer Evans stopped a white minivan on a highway and that Paudert arrived as backup. It was unclear why the van was stopped. The minivan's occupants gunned down the officers using an AK-47 assault rifle, authorities said.

Police killed the two suspects during a shootout about 90 minutes later in which two other law enforcement officers were wounded.

Jerry Kane Believed His Car Did Not Need License Plates

The investigation into the Kanes quickly turned up lots of complaints about them.

"Every elected official here in Clark County [Ohio] has a file on him," Sheriff Gene Kelly said of Jerry Kane.

Kelly said Kane visited his office in 2004 after officers had ticketed him for driving with an expired license plate and without seat belts. A judge had sentenced Kane to six days of community service.

"He was very upset with the judge," Kelly said. "He advised me that he did not need a license plate and that he is a free man. He said the judge was attempting to enslave him."

Kane, who posted Internet comments questioning federal and local governments' authority, had recently complained about being busted at what he called a "Nazi checkpoint" near Carrizozo, N.M. Court records there showed he spent three days in jail before posting a $1,500 bond on charges of driving without a license and concealing his identity, according to published reports.

Mark Potok, of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., said some anti-government extremists "would simply very much like to believe that they really don't owe taxes."

"They don't believe that they are subject to most criminal laws, and they definitely don't believe that they can be required by the government to do such things as get drivers' licenses or register their cars," Potok said.

Suarez, who lives in Springfield, Ohio, said he first met Kane in 2004 but lost contact with him several years later. Though Kane was offering advice on eliminating debt, his methods concentrated on overcoming administrative obstacles and not on any overt anti-government resistance.

"The guy was very much under control all of the time," Suarez told "I never remember him raising his voice."

Suarez said Kane seemed to change after the death of his first wife Hope of an apparent heart attack a couple years ago.

"I think his governor was removed," Suarez said. "Hope did a lot to dial back Jerry, to keep him under control, and when she died anything that was peripheral to him to put the brake on was gone," Suarez said.

The confrontation between the police and the Kanes was the latest evidence of growing violence by those who distrust the government.

In February, a Texas man who was being dunned by the IRS for back taxes crashed a plane into a office complex that housed IRS office, killing one employee.

In March, a shooting outside the Pentagon injured two officers. Also in March, nine members of a self-styled militia group called Hutaree were arrested in a raid and charged with planning an ambush of police officers.