Man pleads guilty in federal court to burning cross - WKRN News 2

Man pleads guilty in federal court to burning cross in family's yard


A Tennessee man pleaded guilty on Friday in federal court for his role in burning a cross in front of an interracial family's home in Minor Hill.

Timothy Strafford, 41, pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to threaten, intimidate and interfere with an interracial couple's enjoyment of their housing rights.

Stafford admitted in court that on the night of April 30, 2012, he and two other individuals devised a plan to burn a cross in the yard of the Minor Hill family's yard.

Stafford constructed the wooden cross in a workshop behind his house. Stafford and his co-conspirators then purchased diesel fuel and covered the cross in fuel-soaked cloth before driving to the residence and igniting the cross on fire.

He admitted to targeting the interracial couple because he did not want interracial dating in his community.

Ivan "Rusty" London IV, 21, of Lexington, Ky., previously pleaded guilty for his role in the conspiracy, and is currently awaiting sentencing.

Stafford faces a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison.

London faces a statutory maximum of five years in prison.

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