Graham Williamson Mississippi cross burning: White man convicted of conspiring to intimidate black residents sentenced 3 years jail.
A Mississippi man convicted of burning a cross to intimidate a black person who lived near him was on Tuesday sentenced to three years in prison.
Graham Williamson, 38, of Collins, pleaded guilty in August to one count of interference with housing rights and conspiring to use fire to commit a federal felony for the October, 2017 cross burning in the town of Seminary.
Williamson and his accomplice, Louie Bernard Revette, built a wooden cross and ignited it in front of the home of a juvenile resident of a predominantly African American town, the FBI said in a statement.
‘He burned the cross to threaten, frighten, and intimidate [the victim] and other African American residents because of their race and color, and because they lived in and occupied residences in that area of Seminary,’ the FBI said in the statement.
Revette pleaded guilty to the same charges in September and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
‘Those who terrorize our people and commit crimes based on the color of someone’s skin will receive swift and certain prosecution from this office,’ US Attorney Mike Hurst of the Southern District of Mississippi said after Tuesday’s sentencing.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Jackson Field Office, including the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and the Jackson Public Corruption Task Force.
Cross burnings have historically been used by racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan to rally supporters and terrorize black people in the South and elsewhere.
In 2017, the nytimes reported a man pleading guilty to federal charges after prosecutors said he and three other men burned a cross more than 6 feet (1.8 meters) high in the front yard of an interracial couple’s home in Port Richey, Florida, in 2012.
Other cross burnings in the past decade have occurred in Richmond Hill, Georgia; Minor Hill, Tennessee; Woodland, Pennsylvania; Salado, Arkansas; and Bennington Township, Ohio, among other places, according to Justice Department records.