MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former Ku Klux Klan leader who pleaded guilty to burning a cross in an African-American neighborhood in Alabama was ordered Wednesday to return to prison for violating terms of his probation.
U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins ordered Steven Joshua Dinkle, 30, back to prison for 10 months.
Last year Dinkle pleaded guilty for his role in burning a cross outside a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Ozark, Alabama, in 2009 to intimidate its residents. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate housing rights and obstruction of justice.
A judge last year sentenced Dinkle to two years in prison. He was freed in May and placed on three years of supervised release.
Federal probation officers said Dinkle failed to comply with his release terms. They said he failed to show up for a mental evaluation, moved out of his residence without telling them and fled the city. Deputy U.S. marshals arrested Dinkle in August when he was found in a mobile home in Tuscaloosa, outside the Middle District of Alabama.
Dinkle admitted breaking the terms of his supervised release. His defense lawyer and a prosecutor agreed to the 10-month incarceration. Watkins accepted the proposal and handed down the 10-month sentence.
He will not be on supervised release when he finishes the 10 months.
Prosecutors said Dinkle built a 6-foot-tall cross, wrapped it in jeans and a towel, doused it in fuel and set it ablaze near the neighborhood entrance. Investigators said Dinkle at the time the exalted Cyclops of the Ozark chapter of the KKK.
Ozark, a town of about 15,000 people, is 85 miles south of Montgomery.