WASHINGTON - Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Rena J. Comisac and Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Timothy Morrison announced today that Kyle Milbourn of Muncie, Ind., was indicted by a federal grand jury for a hate crime stemming from a cross-burning last year that was directed at a woman and her three biracial children.
Milbourn was charged with one count of interfering with the housing rights of another person; one count of conspiring to interfere with civil rights; one count of using fire during the commission of a felony; and one count of witness tampering. If convicted, Milbourn faces a maximum punishment of 40 years of imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine.
According to the indictment, on or about March 6, 2006, Milbourn and another individual built an eight-foot wooden cross, erected it in front of the victims’ home, doused it with gasoline, and set it on fire. Milbourn did this with the intent to interfere with the victims’ rights under the Fair Housing Act.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Charlie Rownd investigated this case. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina McKee from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Trial Attorney Betsy Biffl from the Civil Rights Division.
The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.