Two Florida men sentenced for burning cross on couple's yard

Posted at 8:05 AM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-30 08:05:10-04

Two Florida men have been sentenced to federal prison for burning a wooden cross on an interracial couple's yard.

A U.S. Department of Justice news release says 46-year-old Thomas Sigler was sentenced yesterday to two years and nine months, and 56-year-old William Dennis got one year and nine months. They had both pleaded guilty to civil rights violations.

Officials say Sigler, Dennis and a third man were living in a largely white community near Tampa, when a white woman and a black man moved in. On Halloween 2012, the men burned a cross in the couple's yard.

Cross-burning has historically been used by hate groups to intimidate black people. The third man was sentenced last year to three years and one month behind bars.