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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