Image: Raymond Foster
AP file
Raymond Foster, alleged head of a Ku Klux Klan chapter in Bogalusa, La., is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Cynthia Lynch, 43, of Tulsa, Okla.
updated 3/3/2009 4:34:34 PM ET 2009-03-03T21:34:34

The alleged leader of a Ku Klux Klan group pleaded not guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder in the shooting death of an Oklahoma woman who police said was killed during an initiation at a remote campsite in south Louisiana.

Raymond Foster, 44, did not say anything during the brief hearing. His court-appointed defense attorney, Kevin Linder, entered the plea, and bond was not set for Foster, who would face a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

Linder told reporters he would likely ask for a bond hearing soon.

A grand jury indicted Foster and three other suspected Klan members last month in the death of Cynthia Lynch, 43, of Tulsa, Okla.

Lynch has been described by her former lawyer as a lonely and troubled woman who might have sought a sense of belonging with the group. She was recruited over the Internet to join a small Klan faction referred to as the Sons of Dixie or the Dixie Brotherhood, authorities have said. She is believed to have been shot after she got into a disagreement with Foster and asked to leave the initiation site, authorities have said.

Seven people were arrested after the Nov. 9 slaying. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain said then that the investigation began after two of the suspects went to a convenience store and asked a clerk how to remove blood from clothing. The clerk notified authorities.

Foster's 20-year-old son, Shane, and Franky Stafford, 21, were indicted on an obstruction of justice charge, which carries a maximum of 40 years in prison if convicted. Danielle Jones, 24, was indicted on an accessory charge, which carries a maximum sentence of five years. They have all pleaded not guilty.

Three suspects arrested were not indicted.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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