GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) – A white South Carolina man who pleaded guilty to trying to hire a hit man from the Ku Klux Klan to kill a black neighbor has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
The State reports U.S. District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks sentenced 26-year-old Brandon Lecroy on Thursday.
Hendricks ruled that Lecroy’s offense qualified as a hate crime, but noted that the plan to have someone else killed was so serious she would have given him 10 years even if race wasn’t a factor. Ten years is the maximum sentence for the offense.
Hendricks’ ruling came after a spirited argument by Lecroy’s attorney, Erica Soderdahl, who says race didn’t play a role. She says Lecroy was trying to get rid of an extremely troublesome neighbor who happened to be African American.