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Men Sentenced For Halloween Cross Burning

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TAMPA (CBSMiami/AP) — Two men who set a wooden cross on fire in an interracial couple’s yard have been sentenced to federal prison.

Thomas Sigler, 46, was sentenced Tuesday to two years and nine months, and 56-year-old William Dennis received one year and nine months.

They had both previously pleaded guilty to civil rights violations.

Sigler, Dennis and Pascual Pietri were living in a largely white community in Pasco County, near Tampa, when a white woman and a black man moved into the neighborhood. On Halloween 2012, the men decided to burn a cross in the couple’s yard. Cross-burning has historically been used by hate groups to intimidate black people.

Pietri was sentenced in 2016 to three years and one month behind bars.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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