Hurricane man sentenced in federal court for hate crime

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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19 Comments

  • Just Me.... December 1, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I know that you are accurate in reporting that this man is a resident of Hurricane….but….he is not representative of the town’s population in general. Had he acted that way in most of the neighborhoods here the victim’s family would have expected a community response. This happened in a senior community where fear of confrontation can dominate the instinct to engage in social responsibility. This story will make statewide news again tonight and it’s just sickening!

    • kev December 2, 2014 at 6:42 am

      this was not in a senior community. And the neighborhood was very supportive of the victim family. I am surprised there are still people who think like this. It was sad to see Mr Keller explain to channel 2 news how his feelings are widely held, they are not. He will be moving out of the area as part of his sentence.

  • ladybugavenger December 1, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I’m sure that’s how the 71 hr old was programmed to live #fundraiserforcommisary

  • My Evil Twin December 1, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    71 years old and sent to prison. GOOD JOB! Wonder how many other prison sentences this guy has served. The only difference between a young dirt bag, and an old dirt bag, is age. . .

    • Zonkerb December 1, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Well that is what happens when you get lost in a roundabouts. I want more roundabouts

    • sagemoon December 3, 2014 at 11:17 am

      Ain’t that the truth.

  • Koolaid December 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Lock him up with that guy who had a thing for horses. That should make things interesting after lights out.

    • Zonkerb December 1, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      Hellllllllllllllllllohhhhhhhhhhh Wilbur… Lol

    • jerryking40 December 5, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Sounds like you are sexually harassing the man.

  • munchie December 1, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    They should give him a black cellmate. I’ll bet his attitudes and use of the N-word would change drastically.

  • David M December 2, 2014 at 1:11 am

    71? Ignorant jackass will be dead soon.

  • Allie December 2, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Wouldn’t it be more cost effective to send him to Africa? He could learn to live like a minority.

  • MOJO December 2, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I can’t fathom how a society can send a 71 year old man to prison for a year for threatening letters and racists slurs. No restraining order was violated because no restraining order was issued. This makes me sick and I hope the judge finds herself in prison for something as poorly handled as this case.

    • My Evil Twin December 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      I suppose you would give him a cross to burn, and a white sheet? This scumbag belongs in prison, don’t care how old he is.

    • koolaid December 2, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      What do you propose? Make him eat chitlins and grits?

  • hummynbyrd December 2, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    If a 71 year old is going to make racial death threats then prison is exactry where he should be sent….does not matter what the age, a crime is a crime, and this is the most sickening, disgusting type of crime there is.

  • hummynbyrd December 2, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    He’S lucky he didn’t get a longer sentence.

  • Not a moron December 3, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Anyone thinks prison is ok for a misdemeanor is a moron.

  • MRUGLYREALITY December 5, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Wow aren’t you all so willing to give up your rights so you can feel all good inside.
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, ” With this in mind how do we wind up with, ” intimidated a member of a protected class” Protected class”? Who makes that call? While you might not like this persons actions, that grants neither you nor any government entity the right to mandate what someone thinks. ” But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law,” because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual. ” Thomas Jefferson. This is the price of freedom.
    Where is all of this concern when Govt. operatives murder innocent American’s?
    You sit by and aw shucks, or try to deceive yourselves into believing that the victim deserved it.
    Like this case where there were no charges against the killer, but your tax dollars were given to the child’s family.
    EARLY IN THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 13, 2000, AGENTS from the DEA, the FBI, and a Stanislaus County, California, narcotics task force conducted raids
    on fourteen homes in and around Modesto— the culmination of a nineteen-month investigation. One of the homes was that of Moises Sepulveda and his family. According to the Los Angeles Times, the DEA and FBI asked that the local SWAT teams enter each home unannounced in order to secure the area ahead of the federal agents, who would then come to serve the warrants and search for evidence. Federal agents warned the SWAT teams that the targets of the warrants should be considered armed and dangerous. When local police asked if there were any children in the Sepulveda home, the feds answered, “Not aware of any.” There were. Moises Sepulveda had three children— a daughter and two sons. After the police forcibly entered the Sepulveda home, Moises, his wife, and his children were ordered to lie face-down on the floor with their arms outstretched. They were then told to remain still as officers pointed guns at their heads. Eleven-year-old Alberto was doing just that— lying still under the gun of Officer David Hawn. But shortly after the raid began, Hawn’s gun went off. The boy died instantly. There were no drugs or guns in the Sepulveda home. A subsequent internal investigation by the Modesto Police Department found that the DEA’s evidence against Moises Sepulveda— who had no previous criminal record— was “minimal.” The city of Modesto and the federal government settled a lawsuit brought by the Sepulvedas for the death of their son for $ 3 million. In response to the incident, California attorney general Bill Lockyer assembled a blue ribbon commission to review the procedures, guidelines, and performance of the state’s hundreds of SWAT teams. The Modesto Bee reported in 2001 that the commission would look at the way SWAT teams were deployed, the use of intimidating clothing and equipment, and, in the words of one commissioner, the “overbearing-type attitudes” of SWAT teams. Unsurprisingly, the commission found that while SWAT teams were generally justified, defended, and regarded as responders to emergency situations like hostage crises and terror attacks, they were most commonly being used to serve drug warrants. Nevertheless, the panel’s final recommendations did little to address the number of SWAT teams, how they were being used, or police militarism in general. The panel’s chief complaint was that SWAT teams were undertrained and underfunded, suggesting that local, state, and federal government should be throwing more funding and resources at SWAT teams, not less. Then there is the Govt sanctioned murder of the Branch Davidian’s at WACO. They had it coming, Right? Wait until you are isolated and then marginalized by Big Brother and their hand maidens in the media.
    “Although we give lip service to the notion of freedom, we know that government is no longer the servant of the people but, at last, has become the people’s master. We have stood by like timid sheep while the wolf killed — first the weak, then the strays, then those on the outer edges of the flock, until at last the entire flock belonged to the wolf.” Gerry Spence
    If this isn’t enough try Googling Donald Scott Memorial. Maybe your protectors can pay you a visit. This way of (thinking?) worked well in Germany in the late 1930’s. While you can ignore idiots, once something comes into the tool box of power structure to oppress the public, getting it out is not so easy. Those that rule you know this and see you as Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber said Obamacare only passed due to the “stupidity” of the American voter and a lack of “transparency,”

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