More pleas in cross burning | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More pleas in cross burning

Posted By on Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 11:38 AM

As expected, two more people pleaded guilty today to racially motivated civil rights law violations in a cross-burning in Donaldson. That makes a total of five guilty pleas in the case.


WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced that Jacob A. Wingo, Richard W. Robbins, Clayton D. Morrison and Darren E. McKim pleaded guilty today and yesterday to conspiring to drive a woman and her children from their home in Donaldson, Ark., because they associated with African Americans.  A fifth defendant, Dustin Nix, 21, pleaded guilty to similar charges in July 2009.

All defendants pleaded guilty in federal court in Hot Springs, Ark., to civil rights charges and charges of making a false statement to a federal law enforcement officer.  Each admitted and pleaded guilty to a felony civil rights charge for conspiring with each other to force a woman and her young children from their home by threats and intimidation because she associated with African Americans.  Wingo and Morrison also pleaded guilty to an additional civil rights charge related to their direct involvement in an attempt to burn a cross at the victims’ home to intimidate the victims into leaving.  All four defendants also pleaded guilty to a related charge of lying to agents of the FBI in an attempt to cover their conduct.

“The defendants used a despicable and unmistakable symbol of hatred, the burning cross, to intimidate a young family because the family associated with African Americans,” said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.  “The Civil Rights Division will continue to prosecute this type of illegal, hateful behavior to the fullest extent of the law.”

As part of the conspiracy, Wingo, 20, admitted to building a cross, transporting it to the victims' home, and attempting to set it on fire.  Morrison admitted to helping to prepare the cross and accompanying Wingo and Nix to the victims’ home to burn the cross.  McKim and Robbins, 42, admitted to encouraging Wingo and Nix to build the cross and burn it, as well as driving to the victims' home on a separate occasion to threaten and intimidate them.  McKim also admitted to providing materials to Wingo and Nix for them to build the cross.

Wingo and Morrison, 29, face a total of 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000.  Robbins and McKim face a total of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.  The defendants will be sentenced at a later date.

Special Agents from the FBI’s Little Rock Field Office investigated this matter.   The case was prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Gerard Hogan and Trial Attorney Benjamin Hawk of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Quinn for the Western District of Arkansas.

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016
  • Speaking of the Clinton Foundation: Returns in maize and beans

    A reporter for Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking organization, sent a reporter to Africa to see where money given to the Clinton Foundation has been put to work. He found tangible results.
    • Sep 6, 2016
  • French Hill votes against disaster aid to Puerto Rico

    Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill alone among Arkansas's House delegation voted last week against a measure that provided $36.5 billion in disaster aid, a portion  for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico as well as money for wildfire response and to support the flood insurance program.
    • Oct 14, 2017

Most Shared

  • Guest Playlist: Flap Jones of "Not Necessarily Nashville" schools us on real country music

    "Not Necessarily Nashville," which airs on KUAR-FM 89.1 every Saturday, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., celebrates three decades of the "best of the rest of country music" Saturday, October 21 at the White Water Tavern with Brad Williams of The Salty Dogs & The Creek Rocks, and we asked host Flap Jones to curate a playlist for us ahead of that anniversary celebration.
  • Discussion: State killing of the mentally ill

    The Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and others will have a forum on mental illness and the death penalty at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Bowen School of Law's Friday Courtroom.

Most Viewed

  • Hog football: The lawyers take over

    If you believe social media, it's all over but the post-season buyout for Razorback football coach Bret Bielema. That means, in turn, that the issue of what the coach's contract buyout is worth is not just an academic question.
  • Sunday open line

    The open line is open.

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation