MS man pleads guilty to federal hate crime after burning cross in African-American neighborhood

MS man pleads guilty to federal hate crime after burning cross in African-American neighborhood

SEMINARY,MS (WLBT) - A man has pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges after burning a cross. The incident happened on October 24, 2017 in Seminary, MS.

Louie Bernard Revette pleaded guilty to one county of interference with housing rights, a federal civil rights violation, and one count of using fire during the commission of a federal felony.

“The defendant’s racially motivated actions sought to threaten and intimidate the peaceful residents of this community,” said Assistant Attorney Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will not tolerate abhorrent and hateful acts of intimidation, and we will continue to prosecute anyone who commits a hate crime to the fullest extent of the law.”

In his plea, Revette admitted that he traveled to what he knew to be a predominantly African-American residential area of Seminary, Mississippi. Revette admitted that he left the area, later recruiting a co-conspirator to build a cross to burn near the home of a juvenile victim.

The co-conspirator constructed the cross using materials from in and around Revette’s residence. He placed the cross near the juvenile’s home, and lit it on fire. Revette further admitted that he built and burned the cross to threaten, frighten, and intimidate African-American residents because of their race and color. He acknowledged that he knew burning crosses have historically been used to threaten, frighten, and intimidate African-Americans.

“While wounds are still healing from Mississippi’s past, incidents such as this only serve as setbacks and should be fully condemned in every community,” said Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi Christopher Freeze. “The FBI stands firm that those who commit these reprehensible crimes will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted.”

Revette faces a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine on the two charges. Sentencing has been scheduled for Aug. 20.

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