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.