Spartanburg County Detention Center per The State

Man Sentenced 10 Years for Attempting to Hire KKK Hitman to Kill Black Neighbor

April 16, 2019 - 1:26 pm
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(KNX 1070) -- North Carolina native Brandon Lecroy, 26, has pleaded guilty after attempting to hire a Ku Klux Klan hitman to murder his African American neighbor. 

Lecroy's offense qualifies as a hate crime, and his sentence is 10 years in federal prison. 

“It’s one thing to think these thoughts, but it’s a crime to undertake to do harm to another,” U.S. District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks said. 

Lecroy's attorney, federal public defender Erica Soderdahl, claims her client was simply trying to stop his neighbor from coming onto his property, starting fights, and asking for food and the use of his telephone. Lecroy had attempted to contact the local police, but after not getting the results he wanted, he reached out to a South Carolina-based KKK chapter to ask for help. 

“Brandon called the KKK because who else was he going to call?” Soderdahl said. “It had nothing to do with the color of his skin.”

The federal prosecutor, William Watkins, told the judge that race was at the center of the attempted hit. 

Unbeknownst to Lecroy, the hitman he hired was an undercover agent, who secretly recorded him. In addition to suggesting to the agent that he use a flaming cross, Lecroy was recorded using racist language and referring to violent KKK symbols. 

Lecroy's attorney told the judge that her client had been beaten and bullied by his father, leaving him with severe trauma, and the mental state of a 6-year-old. Lecroy supports himself on disability. 

“Your honor, the fact that he reached out to the KKK — this is not a low-functioning individual,” said Watkins, an assistant U.S. Attorney. “It’s telling that to get a black person eliminated, he turned to the KKK.”