Essex Man Admits Hanging Raccoon on Family's Porch
Joshua Wall, 20, faces up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to civil rights violation.
An Essex man pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday for his role in hanging a raccoon on the porch of an African-American family, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Joshua Wall, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of “conspiracy to deprive a person of civil rights” and admitted he and four co-conspirators hung the raccoon on the porch of the African-American family as a way of scaring them following an altercation with the victims, according to a plea agreement.
Wall, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland, admitted that in April 2010 he and his co-conspirators drove around until they found a dead raccoon. Wall and two of the co-conspirators then placed a noose around the neck of the animal and hung it on the porch of the victims, the release continued.
The victims told investigators that the incident terrified them and they even considered sending their children to boarding school and moving away, but reconsidered as it was not financially feasible, according to the statement of facts from the plea agreement.
“Acts of hate to intimidate someone because of their race still occur in this day and will not be tolerated by the Justice Department,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division in a statement. “The Justice Department will vigorously prosecute anyone that violates our nation’s civil rights laws.”
According to his plea deal, Wall faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 17.
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