News

Second Conspirator Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Violation


Acted as a Look-Out While Conspirators Used a Noose to Hang a Dead Raccoon on a Family’s Porch

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2012

Baltimore, Maryland - Billy Ray Pratt,age 24, of Halethorpe, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to his involvement in hanging a raccoon on the porch of a family from Africa.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein: Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division; and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to his plea agreement, in April 2010 Pratt, Joshua Wall and three other co-conspirators agreed on a plan to hang a dead raccoon from a noose on the porch of an African family to frighten the family. Pratt claimed that two of his co-conspirators drove around until they found a dead raccoon and made the noose to put around the raccoon’s neck. Wall and a co-conspirator hung the raccoon on the porch of the home in the middle of the night while Pratt acted as a look-out.

The investigation is ongoing.

Pratt faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy to deprive a person of civil rights. U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for August 17, 2012.

Joshua Wall, age 20, of Essex, Maryland, pleaded guilty on March 5, 2012 to his involvement in the conspiracy and faces the same maximum penalty at his sentencing scheduled for August 17, 2012.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez commended the FBI for its work in the investigation and thanked U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorney AeJean Cha of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant United States Attorney P. Michael Cunningham, who are prosecuting the case.


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