Indianapolis man gets 46 months for hate crime at neighbor

An Indianapolis man was sentenced to nearly four years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to federal hate crime and weapons charges for threatening a Black neighbor, prosecutors said.

Shepherd Hoehn, 51, was sentenced to 46 months in prison and three years supervised release for violations of the criminal provision of the Fair Housing Act and for unlawfully possessing firearms.

Hoehn pleaded guilty in February.

Hoehn became incensed over the neighbor hiring a construction crew to remove a tree one year ago and burned a cross above the fence line facing the neighbor’s property, prosecutors said. He displayed a swastika on his fence; displayed a large sign containing several anti-Black racial slurs; displayed a machete near the sign; loudly played the Confederate anthem “Dixie” repeatedly; and threw eggs at the neighbor’s house, they said.

The FBI executed a search warrant at Hoehn’s home two weeks later and discovered several firearms and drug paraphernalia, they said.

“Incidents of harassment and intimidation such as this are intended to create fear and this sentence clearly shows targeting someone based on race, sexual identity or religious beliefs will not be tolerated,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division.

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