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Man gets 4 months for threatening 'Jena 6' protesters with noose

  • Story Highlights
  • Jeremiah Munsen, 19, pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges in April
  • Munsen admitted driving past protesters with noose dangling from truck
  • Protesters were waiting at bus depot after rally in Jena 6 case
  • Rally concerned criminal charges for six black teens in attack on white teen
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(CNN) -- A Louisiana man was sentenced to four months Friday for using hangman's nooses to threaten and intimidate civil rights marchers near Jena, Louisiana, officials said Friday.

Jeremiah Munsen, 19, pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges for dangling nooses from the back of a pickup in September and driving past a group of protesters at a bus depot in Alexandria, Louisiana, about 35 miles south of Jena, where the marches took place.

The protesters, who were awaiting buses to return to Tennessee, had taken part in demonstrations over the "Jena Six" case, in which a white student was said to have been beaten by six black classmates in 2006.

The protesters were criticizing local authorities who initially charged the six black students with second-degree attempted murder and conspiracy. The charges were later reduced, and recently, a Louisiana appeals court removed the Lasalle Parish judge presiding over the cases.

Five of the teens are awaiting trial. Another, Mychal Bell, reached a plea agreement on a battery charge in juvenile court.

Munsen, of Pineville, Louisiana, must also complete a year of supervised release and 125 hours of community service after his prison term.

He pleaded guilty in April and admitted that "he and the other person had previously discussed the Ku Klux Klan and how they thought the Klan would have responded to the rally in Jena," the Department of Justice said in a statement Friday.

"The defendant used a threatening and offensive tactic to intimidate peaceful civil rights marchers who were in Louisiana to rally against racial intolerance," said Grace Chung Becker, acting assistant attorney general.

"Our civil rights laws protect the civil rights of all Americans, and they emphasize the reality that we are all members of one particular race: the human race," said Donald Washington, U.S. attorney for the western district of Louisiana.

Munsen faced a maximum sentence of a year in prison.

All About Jena High SchoolKu Klux KlanU.S. Department of Justice

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