HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A federal judge sentenced a Mississippi man Tuesday for his role in burning a cross in a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Seminary.
U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett of the Southern District of Mississippi sentenced 38-year-old Louie Bernard Revette to 11 years in prison after he pleaded guilty on April 12 to interference with housing rights, a federal civil rights violation and using fire to commit a federal felony.
Revette and Graham Williamson built and burned a wooden cross in a yard in the Keys Hill area of Seminary on Oct. 24, 2017 in an attempt to threaten, frighten and intimidate an African-American juvenile and other residents in the area because of their race, according to the Department of Justice.
“The defendant terrorized members of a community simply because of their race and where they lived,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will not tolerate these acts of hate, and we will continue to prosecute hate crimes like these to the fullest extent of the law.”
Williamson pleaded guilty to the same charges in August and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 5.
“Those who instill fear and terror into our neighbors and our fellow citizens because of the color of their skin will face the full weight and force of the law from the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst of the Southern District of Mississippi. “There is absolutely no place in our society or our country for this type of behavior, and we will do all that we can to prevent these racist acts and bring to justice those who are intent on committing these crimes.”
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Jackson Field Office, including the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and the Jackson Public Corruption Task Force.
“All Mississippians have the right to feel safe in their communities, but crimes like these only tear open wounds that are still healing,” said Michelle A. Sutphin, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi. “The FBI and our partners will not tolerate crimes motivated by hate, and we will vigorously pursue those that commit them.”