A former University of Mississippi student has confessed to taking part in placing a noose around the neck of the statute of James Meredith, the first Black student credited with integrating the school.
The Huffington Post reports that Austin Reed Edenfield pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge on Thursday after acknowledging he helped Graeme Phillip Harris and another student place a noose on the neck of the statue in February 2014. After a night of drinking, Edenfield reportedly tied the rope around the statue’s neck. In doing so, the former students threatened African-American students and faculty.
Harris, an ex-student and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity member, was found guilty of the incident last year and was sentenced to six months in prison. He will be released from the Butner, North Carolina prison on July 1.
Harris lawyer initially didn’t accept jail time for the act because the former student sent a written apology to Meredith. His defense also claimed Harris fell under the influence of the fraternity’s racist traditions. All three students reportedly left the school and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity closed their chapter.
Edenfield faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. He will be sentenced on July 21.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty