published Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Ex-Alabama KKK leader sentenced in cross burning

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Federal prosecutors say a former regional leader of a white supremacist group has been sentenced for burning a cross in a black neighborhood.

Prosecutors say 28-year-old Steven Joshua Dinkle was sentenced to two years in prison Thursday. He pleaded guilty in February to conspiring to violate housing rights, interference with the right to fair housing and obstruction of justice.

Authorities have said Dinkle is the former exalted cyclops of the Ozark chapter of the Ku Klux Klan and set fire to a 6-foot-tall cross in an African-American neighborhood.

Dinkle's accomplice, Thomas Windell Smith, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate housing rights and is scheduled to be sentenced in August.

Dinkle's mother was charged with perjury during the investigation and is also scheduled to go to trial in August.

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