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June 30, 2011

Washington - Wendy Treybig, 31, of Evening Shade, Ark., pleaded guilty today to obstructing an investigation related to the Jan. 14, 2011, firebombing of the home of a mixed-race couple in Hardy, Ark, the Department of Justice announced.

Treybig, along with Jason Barnwell, 37, of Evening Shade; Gary Dodson, 32, of Waldron, Ark.; Jake Murphy, 19, of Waldron; and Dustin Hammond, 20, of Hardy, Ark., were indicted in April by a federal grand jury on civil rights charges and other federal charges stemming from their participation in the firebombing and subsequent cover-up. Murphy and Hammond have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Treybig admitted in court that she lied to FBI agents about her knowledge of what happened on the night of the incident. Treybig also admitted that she urged a friend to provide to the FBI a false story that would serve as an alibi for her co-defendants.

“Threatening a couple with violence because of their race will not be tolerated in our country,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will vigorously prosecute individuals that violate the rights of others because of race.”

Treybig faces up to 20 years in prison. Barnwell and Dodson are scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 25, 2011.

This case was investigated by the Little Rock, Ark., Field Office of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Ray White of the Eastern District of Arkansas and Trial Attorneys Patricia Sumner and Henry Leventis of the Civil Rights Division.

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