INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana man, allegedly angered by the removal of a tree, is charged in federal court with a hate crime for attempting to intimidate a African-American neighbor because of his race.
In its Thursday announcement of the charges, the U.S. Justice Department says Shephard Hoehn became angry over a construction crew’s removal of a tree from the neighbor’s property in June.
The 50-year-old Hoehn allegedly burned a cross near the neighbor’s property; displayed a swastika and displayed a large sign containing a variety of anti-Black racial slurs.
A search of Hoehn’s Indianapolis home by the FBI turned up illegal firearms and drug paraphernalia and determined Hoehn was wanted in Dunklin County, Missouri for failing to complete a probation sentence for theft.
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