published Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

3rd man charged in cross-burning at Tennessee family's home

NASHVILLE — A former Giles County man is charged with burning a cross in front of an interracial family's home in Minor Hill, the third person charged in the case.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, a federal grand jury in Nashville indicted Timothy Flanagan on Thursday on charges of conspiracy to violate housing rights, criminal interference with the right to fair housing and using fire to commit a federal felony.

Flanagan lives in Hudson, Florida. There was no phone number listed for him there, and a court spokesman said Flanagan does not yet have an attorney.

Two other men, Ivan "Rusty" London IV and Timothy Stafford, have pleaded guilty in the case.

According to the plea agreement signed by London last year, he and two co-conspirators decided in April 2012 to burn a cross at the home of the couple who had just had a baby.

The agreement says one of the men (identified only as co-conspirator 1) "regularly said that he did not believe whites and black should date," and he specifically did not like that the white woman was dating a black man.

The agreement says that one of the men built a wooden cross approximately 6 or 7 feet tall and they wrapped it in cloth and soaked the cloth in gasoline. They then drove to the couple's home, placed the cross in the driveway and set it on fire.

London and Stafford are scheduled to be sentenced in August.

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