published Friday, January 6th, 2012, updated Jan. 6th, 2012 at 2:56 p.m.

3 plead guilty in July 4 East Lake racial incident

Colton Partin, James Smiley and Kyle Montgomery
Colton Partin, James Smiley and Kyle Montgomery
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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Three men arrested in July on charges of civil rights intimidation pleaded guilty in federal court this morning.

Colton Partin, Kyle Montgomery, and James Smiley each face up to 10 years in prison for a single count of conspiracy against rights.

The trio also could receive federal probation.

Smiley and Partin are free awaiting April sentencing. U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Lee ruled this afternoon that Montgomery will be detained as he awaits sentencing on April 12.

Under federal law he and his two co-defendants faced mandatory detention unless they each could present an extraordinary circumstance. Lee did not find that Montgomery had such a circumstance.

The men were arrested after witnesses told police that they drove through the East Lake Courts public housing public early on July 9, 2011, firing rocketlike fireworks at five black residents while shouting racial epithets.

See complete story in Saturday’s Times Free Press.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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