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La. man faces hate crime charges

Sept. 27, 2010 at 8:47 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- A Louisiana man faces hate crime charges for allegedly hanging a raccoon by a noose at a school attended by black students under court order, prosecutors said.

The U.S. Justice Department said Monday a federal grand jury has indicted Christopher Shane Montgomery of Bastrop, La., on charges of conspiracy to commit a hate crime, tampering with a witness and lying to federal authorities.

The indictment alleged Montgomery and another person, who was not identified in the indictment, put a noose around the neck of a dead raccoon and hung the carcass from a flagpole at Beekman Junior High School, intending to intimate black students attending the school under a court-ordered busing policy.

The indictment alleges Montgomery lied on two occasions to an FBI agent investigating the November 2007 incident and tampered with a witness during the investigation, the Justice Department said in a news release.

If convicted of all the charges, Montgomery could be sentenced to as much as 40 years in prison, prosecutors said.

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