A Mississippi man was sentenced today before U.S. District Judge Halil S. Ozerden to 42 months* in prison followed by three years supervised release and restitution in the amount of $7,810 for burning a cross in his front yard with the intent to intimidate a Black family.
According to court documents, in Gulfport, Mississippi, on Dec. 3, 2020, Axel Cox, 24, violated the Fair Housing Act when he used threatening and racially derogatory language toward his Black neighbors and burned a cross to intimidate them. After a dispute with the Black family victims, Cox wedged two pieces of wood together to form a cross, placed it in clear view of the victims’ residence, doused it in oil and set it alight. During this incident, Cox yelled threats and racial slurs toward the occupants of the house. Cox admitted that he lit the cross on fire because the victims were Black and that he intended to scare them into moving out of the neighborhood.
Source: Mississippi Man Sentenced for Federal Hate Crime for Cross Burning | OPA | Department of Justice