Friday, July 23, 2004

Cross- burning suspect in court

Two men charged on civil-rights counts

By Jim Hannah
Enquirer staff writer

COVINGTON - The second adult accused of driving a black family out of Boone County appeared in court Thursday.

Jimmy D. Foster, 19, of Independence, was served a summons to appear in U.S. District Court on a charge of conspiracy to violate civil rights. The crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Foster, who was released to the custody of his grandfather, declined to comment after the hearing.

Foster and Matthew T. Scudder, 18, of Hebron are accused of harassing the family of Frederick Mahone as it lived in a rented home in the 6500 block of Rosetta Drive in Burlington.

Scudder is charged with the same crime. He made his initial court appearance Monday morning and was released to his mother.

A federal affidavit said Foster and Scudder, in the hours leading up to a cross-burning, listened to "media of racist nature" and engaged in racist conversation during which they stated that they hated blacks.

Scudder and a juvenile are accused of building a cross that was burned on the Mahone family's lawn July 2. The following night, Scudder and a juvenile threw rocks through the family's car, authorities said, as Foster and a fourth person, also a juvenile, watched.

FBI agents said Foster, Scudder and the two juveniles donned white hoods and yelled racial slurs as the rocks were thrown.


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