Mount Airy man sentenced to a year in hate crime

He painted racial slurs on black residents' home

July 02, 2004|By Athima Chansanchai | Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF

A Mount Airy man was sentenced yesterday to a year in the Carroll County Detention Center for violating Maryland's hate-crimes law by spray-painting racial slurs on a house.

Justin Eugene Wright, 20, of the 200 block of Watersville Road, was also given three years of probation when he was sentenced in Carroll County Circuit Court by retired Judge Luke K. Burns Jr.

Wright was arrested in September and charged with nine counts of malicious destruction of property and one count of racial or religious harassment for the defacement of several signs and homes, a sidewalk and a car in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Friendly Acres.

According to charging documents, Wright was one of three people charged with vandalizing the properties. Two juveniles were also charged in the incident.

Racial slurs were spray-painted on the side of a home inhabited by black residents, police said.

Though Wright was released on his own recognizance to await trial, another Circuit Court judge issued a bench warrant for him when he failed to appear in court in March.

Wright waived his right to a jury trial in April and was found guilty of all 10 charges by Burns.

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