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Friday, November 8, 2019

Man Who Burned Cross to Intimidate Black Family Gets 3 Years In Prison

Graham Williamson, man who burned cross to intimidate Black family

Seminary, MS — Graham Williamson, a 38-year old white man who was convicted of hate crime charges after burning a cross outside the home of an African-American family to intimidate them, has been sentenced to 3 years in prison. His sentence came a few months after his accomplice, Louie Revette, was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

In August, Williamson reportedly entered a guilty plea to federal hate crime charges, including one count of interference with housing rights and a count of conspiring to use fire to commit a federal felony.

According to authorities, in October 2017, Williamson and Revette built a wooden cross using materials from Revette’s home and burned it outside the home of an unnamed juvenile resident in Seminary, Mississippi.

The two confessed they knew that burning cross has historic meanings and they did it to really “threaten, frighten, and intimidate [the victim] and other African American residents because of their race, color and because they lived in and occupied residences in that area of Seminary,” the Justice Department said.

Revette, who pleaded guilty to similar charges in September, received a harsher sentence of 11 years in prison. Prosecutors said he was instrumental in committing the crime and even actively recruited others to join him in the racist act.

Meanwhile, FBI Jackson Division Special Agent in Charge Michelle A. Sutphin said in a statement, “Mississippians should not have to fear for their safety within their own neighborhoods, and this case should send a strong message to those who threaten others based on race or color.”