SALT LAKE CITY – A 71-year-old Hurricane man was sentenced Monday in federal court for a hate crime.
Robert Keller, of Hurricane, was sentenced to serve a year in prison by Magistrate Judge Evelyn Furse for a misdemeanor charge related to threatening bodily harm or death against an interracial family that lived in his subdivision, which constituted a violation of the Fair Housing Act. Keller pleaded guilty to the charge on Sept. 23.
In addition to serving a year in prison, Keller was also fined $1,000 and given 260 hours of community service.
According to court records, Keller allegedly threatened a family at the Quail Lake Estates subdivision in Hurricane that had taken in an African-American male who was identified as the brother of one of the residents. Police were contacted by the individual’s sister over threatening notes found at the subdivision’s clubhouse and left on their car two days earlier.
Language in the letter referred to the woman’s brother by the N-word, with a threat of death if he were caught around the letter writer’s daughter. An additional threat was also made against the person that allowed the woman’s brother into the subdivision.
The letter left at the clubhouse was the second of its type the family received. Two days prior, a note was left on the family’s car that said no blacks were allowed in the area and the couple should move to Africa if they wanted to live with and raise a black individual.
Keller was identified by the woman and her husband as the man who left the letter at the clubhouse after they watched surveillance footage. Police contacted Keller who, according to court documents, admitted to writing the letter.
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- Federal agents arrest man accused of violating family’s civil rights
- County Attorney’s Office to prosecute Hurricane man in pending federal hate crime case
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