Louie Revette, a 38-year old white man, has pleaded guilty to the racist act of burning a cross outside the home of an African-American family on October 2017. He was convicted of several charges in connection to the crime and he recently received his sentence of 11 years in federal prison.
Revette was reportedly convicted on one count of using fire in the commission of a federal felony, interference with housing rights and a federal civil rights violation in connection to the incident.
During his trial, Revette was remorseful and said that he wishes he could take it back. He said, “I want everyone to know I’m not proud of what happened. I hate what I did. I cannot even believe I did that. I’ve never done anything like that before in my life.”
Revette entered a guilty plea in April and confessed that he went to a majority-Black neighborhood in Seminary, Mississippi, to burn crosses that he himself created at his home with his accomplice Graham Williams, who also pleaded guilty.
Both Revette and Williams said they did the racist act in an attempt to “threaten, frighten, and intimidate” Black residents due to their race and color.
“Those who instill fear and terror into our neighbors and our fellow citizens because of the color of their skin will face the full weight and force of the law from the U.S. attorney’s office,” Mike Hurst, U.S. attorney for Southern Mississippi, said in a statement from the Justice Department. “There is absolutely no place in our society or our country for this type of behavior, and we will do all that we can to prevent these racist acts and bring to justice those who are intent on committing these crimes.”
Judge Keith Starrett described the defendants’ actions as a “big deal.” He said, “It is not an act of courage to come in the night and try to intimidate somebody.”
Meanwhile, prosecutors wanted a harsher sentence for Revette saying that he even tried to recruit more others to join him in burning crosses. Rose Marie Shears, the grandmother of one of the victims, said Revette and Williams should have to be in prison for 20 to 40 years for their crime.
“I thought that ‘those days’ were over,” she told federal prosecutor Julia Gegenheimer. “This act has brought it all back.”
Graham Williams, who faces up to 30 years in prison, is scheduled to be sentenced on November 5.