Hurricane man pleads guilty to threatening interracial family

SALT LAKE CITY – A Hurricane man pleaded guilty in federal district court Tuesday to threatening an interracial family that lived in the same subdivision he did.

Robert Keller, 71, appeared before Magistrate Judge Evelyn J. Furse and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count related to threatening bodily harm or death against the family, which constituted a violation of the Fair Housing Act. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 1.

According to court documents, Hurricane City Police responded to a call from the Quail Lake Estates on Dec. 30, 2013, in which a woman showed investigators a note with her and her husband’s names on it that had been left at the subdivision’s clubhouse. In the letter was a note threatening the woman’s family for living with an African American who she identified as her brother. He had moved to the subdivision several weeks prior, the woman told police.

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 onto the subdivision.

The letter left at the clubhouse was actually 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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13 Comments

  • ladybugavenger September 25, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Grandpa’s gone wild…

    • Koolaid September 25, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      At least he didn’t shoot someone like that old man in Parowan

  • villager September 25, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    It’s not the first time I see this happen.
    This is town with a big population of older folks. They are from a different era. We need to understand that. Put yourself in their shoes.
    Just make him take some classes and read stories to minority kids.

    • Coprqwn September 25, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Well, that’s mighty white of you!

    • Dana September 25, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Maybe he can go on an apology tour.

    • munchie September 25, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Would you want your kids around this guy?

  • Koolaid September 25, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    What a white and delightsome guy! Would he been okay if the cohabitation would have involved an immediate family relative, a dog, a horse or was an old man spiritually married to an underage girl? Is his attitude the result of some misguided religious teaching about non-whites? Let’s ask him if he supports gay marriage.

    • Nikki Lee September 25, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      I don’t think his behavior had anthing to do with religion. If he had beliefs based in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as you hinted at, he would know that “…he invite them them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denied none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female…”(2 Nephi 26:33)

  • Zonkerb September 25, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    KKK alive and well

  • anonymous September 25, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    He actually IS LDS. He used his misguided notions of his religion in part of the letter…..I know the family personally. And the threats were sick, and very detailed…also…the AA male he threatened was A CHILD. The local LDS bishop heard about this and was quick to come speak to the non-member family and apologize. Zero Tolerance… He knew exactly what he was saying. When the police first confronted him, he went on an even MORE detailed tirade to the cop about what he planned to do to the little boy.

  • The Rest Of The Story September 26, 2014 at 8:38 am

    While it’s sad, this isn’t really that surprising. Utah is like Alabama shoved up into the mountains.

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