ST. GEORGE — The Washington County Attorney’s Office will continue to prosecute in a hate crime case against Hurricane resident Robert Keller.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Keller, 70, with two misdemeanor counts of interference of housing rights for his alleged threats against the lives of three members of an interracial family on Dec. 30, 2013. According to article 76-3-203.3 of the Utah Criminal Code, that is classified as a hate crime.
With the current charges against Keller by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Washington County Attorney’s Office will continue to prosecute in its own case pending the results of the federal case.
“We haven’t seen the actual documents on the federal case as of right now,” Senior Deputy County Attorney Brian Filter said. “We’ll continue to prosecute pending the federal case. We’re looking for more details on what they’re doing on the federal level.”
According to a probable cause statement filed by the Hurricane City Police on Dec. 30, 2013, Keller allegedly threatened the lives of three members of an interracial family.
Keller allegedly threatened one individual in the family because he was black. According to the probable cause statement, Keller left an anonymous letter to the family, warning them to remove the black family member from the neighborhood where they resided.
When the family contacted the Hurricane City Police, video footage showed a man, whom the family identified as Keller, leaving something in the subdivision clubhouse, which was where the threatening letter was found.
The police contacted Keller and confronted him about the letter. Keller admitted to leaving the letter, according to the probable cause statement.
The case against Keller at the county level was up for status review Tuesday, and it has been set out for another review in May, pending the charges at the federal level.
Keller has not yet made an appearance at the federal level. He made his initial court appearance at the county level Jan. 3 and pleaded not guilty.
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