Ga. man accused of buring cross in neighbor's yard
Gene Hoyt Vandiver, 34, of Richmond Hill, Ga., was indicted earlier this month by a federal grand jury in Savannah on charges related to the burning of a cross in his neighbor's yard.
Vandiver was charged with one count of interfering with housing rights and with one count of arson. Vandiver had his initial appearance in federal court before United States Magistrate Judge G.R. Smith last week.
According to information presented in court, Vandiver, who is white, allegedly burned a cross in the yard of his neighbor, whom Vandiver believed to be African-American. Vandiver also left a sign in his neighbor's yard with a racial slur and a hand-drawn picture of a person being lynched.
"Cross-burning remains a vicious symbol of hate and no one should have to suffer the fear and intimidation caused by such a cruel act," said United States Attorney Edward Tarver. "My office will work diligently with our law enforcement partners to prosecute criminal civil rights violations of any form."
The interfering with housing rights charge against Vandiver carries a 10-year maximum prison sentence; the arson charge carries a 10-year consecutive prison sentence.
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