The Alabama man who pleaded guilty to trying to hire a member of the Ku Klux Klan to kill his black neighbor got a reduced sentence on Monday and will serve six years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, WTVM reports.
The lawyer for Allen Wayne Morgan, a veteran who reportedly suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, had previously pleaded for mercy in his case, saying that his history of depression and drug addiction and his PTSD should exempt him from spending more than five years in jail. On Monday attorney Glennon Threatt told WBRC that while having a client going to prison is never ideal, he thought the ruling was fair. "I can never say that I'm happy when a client of mine goes to prison, but based on what was presented to the judge, I think that the sentence that my client received was fair," Threatt said.
U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre said that it was a “horrible soap opera” of a case while issuing her sentence, citing Morgan’s personal struggles and his military service, Reuters notes. Morgan served 175 combat missions in Iraq.
Morgan pleaded guilty in October to attempting to hire a Klansman to kill his black neighbor, with whom he believed his wife was having an affair.
FBI agents convinced the vet that he was speaking to the KKK hit man. He allegedly told the undercover agent exactly how he wanted his neighbor murdered.
"I want this man hung from a tree like he is an animal. I want his penis cut off and I want him cut. You’re a hunting man, right? I want him hung from a tree and gutted," he allegedly said. According to Reuters, the audiotape of the exchange was played during the sentencing trial and included racial slurs.