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College Student Convicted of Hate Crime

June 14th, 2012 at 2:06 pm

An Elmhurst College student has been convicted on charges that he carved racial epithets into the window sill of another student’s dorm room. Myles Burton, 21, had been arrested and charged in December with a felony hate crime connected to the property damage. He was indicted by a grand jury in January.

According to a report in Patch, Burton, from Libertyville, is accused of carving the words “KKK,” “Negro” and “I hate black people” into the stone window sill of the school’s only African-American dorm supervisor. He was found guilty after a two hour bench trial. Prosecutors told the court that Burton was intoxicated and angry when he committed the crime.

Burton told police that he was angry at his basketball coach for calling him a ‘racist’ and only vandalized the building to show “what a real racist does”. In a recorded police interview, he admitted that he knew that those words would be frightening to any black person. It was that interview that the judge cited when handing down his verdict. Burton’s attorney had tried arguing that Burton didn’t know the home he was damaging belonged to an African-American.

The Daily Herald reported that the incident was recorded on security cameras and showed Burton using a rock to carve the epitaphs. Two other students, Samuel Ficker and Michael McCurdy, were also identified as being present and were charged with misdemeanors.

The female victim, 28, testified during the trial how she discovered the vandalism. “I was taken aback because I never saw anything like that before,” she said. “I was immediately afraid. I was raised in Mississippi, and I am very aware of what the KKK means and symbolizes.”

Burtonis scheduled for sentencing on June 19. He faces up to five years in prison.

Depending on the circumstances, an accusation of vandalism can escalate into much more serious charges. If you are arrested and charged with a crime, you need an experienced attorney to represent your rights in court. Contact a qualified Cook County criminal defense lawyer today!

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Written by Staff Writer

June 14th, 2012 at 2:06 pm

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