WASHINGTON – Jason Barnwell, 37, of Evening Shade, Ark.; Gary Dodson, 32, of Waldron, Ark.; Jake Murphy, 19, also of Waldron; and Dustin Hammond, 20, of Hardy, Ark., were indicted by a federal grand jury on civil rights charges and other federal charges stemming from their participation in an incident in January 2011 involving Molotov cocktails thrown at and into the home of a mixed-race couple living near Hardy, Ark. The couple was also barraged with racial slurs and threatened with future violence if they did not leave Arkansas. Wendy Treybig, 31, of Evening Shade, Ark., was indicted for obstruction of justice for her role in trying to cover up the incident.
Specifically, Barnwell, Dodson, Murphy and Hammond are charged with one count of conspiracy to interfere with the housing rights of another, one count of interfering with the housing rights of another, one count of possessing an unregistered firearm, one count of using fire in the commission of a felony, and one count of using a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence. Barnwell is also charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm.
If convicted, Barnwell faces up to 85 years in prison. If convicted, Dodson, Murphy and Hammond face up to 70 years in prison. If convicted, Treybig faces up to 20 years in prison.
This investigation was led by the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) of the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; along with the Arkansas State Police; the Hardy and Waldron Police Departments; and the Scott and Sharp County Sheriff's Offices.
The charges set forth in an indictment are merely allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.