AFRICANGLOBE – A Missouri man and woman have admitted to firebombing a Black family’s home and plastering the driveway with a swastika and the words “White Power.”
Logan J. Smith, 25, and Victoria A. Cheek-Herrera, 34, both of Independence, pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiring to threaten and intimidate a family from exercising their constitutional right to reside in their home because of their race or color, and one count of a civil rights violation for committing a racially motivated arson.
Smith had been charged in a two-count information and Cheek-Herrera pleaded guilty to two of three counts in an indictment handed up May 23, the U.S. Justice Department said in a release.
In the plea agreements, the pair admitted setting the fire at the African-American family’s home in Independence on June 26, 2008, and left the accompanying hate message.
They also said they asked a juvenile acquaintance for gasoline and then created a Molotov cocktail by filling a glass bottle with gasoline and inserting a rag into the bottle to serve as a wick. They said they lit the wick and threw the gas bomb against the side of the family’s rental house, setting it on fire.
Smith and Cheek-Herrera could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and face a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count.