AFRICANGLOBE – A judge is sending a southern Utah man to prison for the maximum sentence of one year in a federal hate crime case.
Judge Evelyn Furse handed down the sentence Monday to 71-year-old Robert Keller, who pleaded guilty to making writing letters threatening to kill to the family of a Black teenager.
The judge says the threats were significant and harmful.
Prosecutor Carlos Esqueda says Keller was upset because the 13-year-old boy was walking down the street with a white girl in Hurricane. The boy’s sister says she still feels uncomfortable in her neighborhood and worried about her children.
At Monday’s hearing, Keller apologized but said the letters weren’t truly threats and questioned whether the victims remain afraid.
Defense attorney Kent Hart calls the sentence disappointing and excessive.
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