News and Press Releases

OXFORD MAN SENTENCED ON
RACIALLY-MOTIVATED ARSON CHARGE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2011

OXFORD, Miss. – John Marshall Alexander, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, and Phillip M. Durham, Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Field Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), announce that:

Wayne Allen Stoker, Jr., 45, of Oxford, was sentenced Monday following his guilty plea in 2010 to a one count indictment, charging him with knowingly and maliciously damaging and destroying “The Dam Bar” in Coffeeville, Mississippi, by means of fire. United States Senior District Judge Neal B. Biggers ordered Stoker to serve 108 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Stoker was also ordered to pay $211,000 in restitution.

United States Attorney John Marshall Alexander stated: “This defendant intentionally set fire to a place of business, destroyed the property of another, based his actions on racial hatred, needlessly placed emergency personnel in harm’s way, and attempted to obstruct the investigation, none of which can be tolerated in a civilized society. I am pleased that he has been held accountable for his criminal conduct and commend ATF, the Grenada County Sheriff's Office, the Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office, and all the fire departments who worked together seeking justice in this significant case.”

According to the factual basis which was read when he entered his guilty plea, Stoker was a patron at the bar when two African-American men entered. He became so volatile with the men that he had to be forcibly removed. Later that evening, he returned and set fire to the building. At his sentencing, Stoker admitted that the motivation for his crime was based on racial hatred.

Stoker, who is currently serving an eight-year state sentence for violation of his parole on an arson conviction, will serve his federal sentence concurrently with the six years remaining on the state sentence.

Copies of the indictment and factual basis are attached.

This case was investigated by the Grenada County Sheriff’s Office, the Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and was prosecuted by United States Attorney John Marshall Alexander and Assistant United States Attorney Clay Dabbs.

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