It’s no secret that hate crimes are on the rise since our alleged president was sworn into office. They show up in news reports on a near daily basis. In this latest example, a man in Greenwood, South Carolina, will go down in infamy as one of the worst neighbors ever after attempting to hire the KKK to kill his neighbor.
I’ll let the New York Times take it from here.
A white man in South Carolina has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to trying to hire a hit man to kill his black neighbor, hang him from a tree and leave a burning cross in his yard, prosecutors said.
The man, Brandon Cory Lecroy, 26, of Greenwood, was arrested last year after a confidential source tipped off the authorities that Mr. Lecroy had reached out to an unidentified white supremacist organization seeking help in the murder.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, an FBI agent pretending to be a hit man reached out to Lecroy, who set the terms of the purported murder: “$500 and he’s a ghost.” After making an initial payment of $100, he was taken into custody.
Prior to his arrest, Lecroy wasn’t exactly the greatest criminal mind either.
In Mr. Lecroy’s case, the authorities said they were tipped off in March 2018 that he had contacted the white supremacist group for help with the killing.
Mr. Lecroy went as far as texting the agent photos of two targets, including the neighbor, whom the authorities have not identified. He also provided times when it would have been best to commit the murder.
Mr. Lecroy expressed his intent to take over his neighbor’s property, and asked the agent for an untraceable 9-millimeter gun—a “ghost gun”—that had not been stolen, according to court documents. Lecroy’s plans for the “ghost gun” were not disclosed.
After initially pleading not guilty, Lecroy withdrew his plea and instead pleaded guilty to one count of murder for hire. He received three years of court-ordered supervision and the maximum 10-year sentence on Friday, according to a statement from the United States attorney’s office in South Carolina.
According to The State, Lecroy’s defense team went to great lengths to try to paint their client as the victim.
The neighbor, identified only by the initials “FJ,” kept coming onto Lecroy’s property, trying to start fights, and asking for food and to use the phone. Lecroy had repeatedly tried to get local police to keep the neighbor from trespassing, to no avail, Soderdahl said.
“But FJ kept coming back,” said Soderdahl, a federal public defender. “It’s not about an overriding feeling toward a race — it’s about one individual.”
Finally, in desperation after police wouldn’t act, Lecroy went on the internet and found an 864 (western South Carolina) area code for a local Ku Klux Klan chapter, she said.
“Brandon called the KKK because who else was he going to call?” Soderdahl said. “It had nothing to do with the color of his skin.”
But federal prosecutor William Watkins told the judge that race had everything to do with the attempted murder.
“Your honor, the fact that he reached out to the KKK — this is not a low-functioning individual,” said Watkins, an assistant U.S. Attorney. “It’s telling that to get a black person eliminated, he turned to the KKK.”
And just in case you’re wondering where the judge stood on this matter, he made sure it was perfectly clear that he sided with Watkins.
“He doesn’t call a biker gang,” federal prosecutor William Watkins said. “It all boils down to this: he sought to eliminate his neighbor based on his race.”
The judge ultimately sided with Watkins and handed Lecroy a 10-year sentence.
“It’s one thing to think these thoughts, but it’s a crime to undertake to do harm to another,” said U.S. Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks.
And there’s no parole in the federal system, so have fun in the can, Lecroy.