Man given 10-year term in Bowie cross-burning

April 12, 2000|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A 22-year-old man was sentenced to 10 years without parole in federal prison yesterday for his part in a cross-burning at Bowie High School in June 1997.

Lynne A. Battaglia, U.S. attorney for Maryland, said that Brian Swetnam of Bowie was convicted under federal civil rights, hate crime, and conspiracy statutes and sentenced in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.

Swetnam pleaded guilty to the charges in February. Conviction carries a 10-year mandatory sentence.

Three other defendants -- Derek Schleicher of Bowie, Patrick Trainer of Troy, N.Y., and Robert Trainer of Montana -- have also pleaded guilty in the incident. They have not yet been sentenced.

The conspiracy charges involved allegations that the defendants discussed various ways to avenge the assault of a white student at Bowie High School by an African-American.

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