Ky. men plead in cross burning case

Sept. 2, 2004 at 6:19 PM

BURLINGTON, Ky., Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Two Kentucky men have pleaded guilty for their roles in a Burlington, Ky., cross burning, the Justice Department said Thursday.

Matthew Scudder of Florence, Ky., 18 at the time the crime was committed, and James Foster of Independence, Ky., who was 19, admitted to conspiring to threaten and intimidate a black couple and their two children in order to drive them from their home.

Scudder admitted that on July 2 he burned a wooden cross on the family's lawn. Foster admitted he helped. A third defendant, a juvenile, is facing related federal charges.

Scudder faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a $500,000 fine. Foster faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 16.

The case was jointly investigated by the FBI the Boone County Sheriff's Office. It is being prosecuted by attorneys from the department's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

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