4 charged with burning cross in Central CA city

AP News
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Posted: Jul 22, 2011 10:07 PM
4 charged with burning cross in Central CA city

Four people have been arrested and charged with setting a cross on fire next to the home of a black family in a mostly white Central California city.

Arroyo Grande police Cmdr. John Hough (hao) said three men and one woman were charged Friday with felony arson, cross burning, terrorism and conspiracy. The charges come with hate crime enhancements.

The suspects are 32-year-old Jeremiah Hernandez, 36-year-old Jason Kahn, 24-year-old Sara Matheny and 20-year-old William Soto. They are being held in jail pending their court arraignment on Monday.

The cross was set ablaze on March 18 in a lot behind the house where a black family lived. Hough said the theft of the 11-foot cross from a church remains under investigation.

The suspects are white and Hispanic.