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The leader of a Ku Klux Klan splinter group has been arrested in a 2001 murder case as he was being released from federal prison on a firearms conviction.

Charles Robert "Junior" Barefoot, the self-proclaimed leader of the Nation's Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was charged in the shooting death of Klan member Lawrence Arthur Pettit, according to the Sampson County Sheriff's Office.

Four others, including Barefoot's estranged wife, already were charged in the case.

"Ever since the arrest of (the other suspects), we knew we were going to arrest him," said Lt. W.E. Jones. "Once he got finished with his time, he was released to us."

Barefoot was taken last week to a prison in Raleigh to await trial. He served 27 months in prison on the weapons charge.

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