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Former UM Student Receives Probation for Helping Tie Noose on Meredith Statue

Austin Edenfield (seen in black suit to the left) was sentenced at 11 a.m. on July 21 at U.S. District Court of North Mississippi.
Austin Edenfield (seen in black suit to the left) was sentenced at 11 a.m. on July 21 at U.S. District Court of North Mississippi.

On July 21 at 11 a.m. at U.S. District Court of North Mississippi in Oxford, Judge Michael Mills sentenced former University of Mississippi student Austin Reed Edenfield to a probation for 12 months and 50 hours of uncompensated community service.

U.S. Attorney Felicia C. Adams said, “The U.S. Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, will aggressively prosecute hate crimes and other civil rights violations which occur in our district. I seriously appreciate the assistance of the FBI and the University of Mississippi in the investigation and prosecution of this case.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Donald Alway assisted the prosecutors on this case. He said, “The FBI remains dedicated to protecting the cherished freedoms of all Americans and, as in this case, we will vigorously investigate allegations of crimes motivated by hate.”

On March 24, Edenfield pleaded guilty to one count of using a threat of force to intimidate African-American students and employees at the University of Mississippi when he helped Graeme Phillip Harris tie a noose and a former Georgia state flag bearing a Confederate battle emblem around James Meredith’s statue on February 2014.

The Kennesaw, Georgia native waived indictment to plead guilty to the federal civil rights crime per agreement to plead guilty to the above charge. The factual basis provided by the prosecutors can be read by clicking here.

Edenfield was involved in the February 2014 vandalism of James Meredith’s statue with Graeme Phillip Harris and Arthur McCarty. Graeme Phillip Harris was sentenced to six months in federal prison last September which he began this past January and completed by June and was released July 1, 2016. He was also sentenced to do 100 hours of community service for a nonprofit after his release. Arthur McCarty has not faced charges and may not due to his cooperation with the investigation.

Callie Daniels Bryant is the senior managing editor at HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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