Tenn. man sentenced to jail for cross-burning

AP News
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Posted: Mar 18, 2011 5:26 PM

Prosecutors say a Tennessee man has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for burning a wooden cross at the Anderson County home of an interracial couple.

U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Phillips handed down the sentence to 50-year-old Steven D. Archer of Heiskell, Tenn., on Friday after his conviction last July of willfully interfering with the couple's federal housing rights because of their race. The couple lived in a home on his family's property.

In July 2008, a cross wrapped in fuel-soaked cloth was set ablaze at the home. According to prosecutors, Archer admitted to burning the cross but denied a racial motivation.

A federal court jury convicted Archer of violating the victims' federal housing rights.