Alabama Man Pleads Guilty to Cross-Burning With Former KKK Leader 

The 24-year-old faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Posted:
 
88984179
An unidentified member of the Fraternal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan at a march in 2009 in Pulaski, Tenn.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A 24-year-old Alabama man has pleaded guilty to participating in a 2009 cross-burning with a former Klu Klux Klan leader, Talking Points Memo reports.

Thomas Windell Smith was charged with conspiring "to injure, oppress, threaten, and intimidate African American persons in Alabama," according to court documents.

"This defendant not only committed a federal crime, but committed a contemptible action of hate," U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. said in a written statement Monday. "I hope this prosecution sends a clear message that these hateful demonstrations will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

According to Talking Points Memo, in the early part of 2009, Smith and a former "Exalted Cyclops" of the KKK burned a cross outside of a predominantly black neighborhood.

Steven Joshua Dinkle, the Exalted Cyclops, was arrested last month for the incident and for allegedly attempting to hinder the investigation.

Smith could spend up to 10 years in prison for the federal offense and also dish out up to $250,000 in fines.

Read more at Talking Points Memo.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Comments
The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.
Must-See Family Attractions
July 29 2014 2:13 PM