Jamestown man pleads guilty to ethnic intimidation charge
GREENVILLE, Pa. -- A Jamestown man accused of burning a cross in a woman's yard in Jamestown earlier this month has pleaded guilty to a charge of ethnic intimidation.
Jeffrey M. Barnes, 19, of Washington Street, also was charged with arson, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct but those counts were dropped in exchange for his guilty plea Thursday during a preliminary hearing before District Justice William Fagley.
Fagley ordered Barnes to pay a fine of $201.50 and court costs of $105 on the ethnic intimidation charge. He paid the $306.50 and was released.
Pennsylvania State Police said a boy from Jamestown has been petitioned to answer charges in juvenile court in the case.
The pair made and set fire to a crude wooden cross doused with a flammable liquid in the front yard of a white woman in the 200 block of Scipio Street around 12:15 a.m. June 4, police said.
The woman's boyfriend is black, police said.
Barnes and the juvenile thought they were pulling a prank and weren't trying to terrorize anyone, authorities said.
Police and the victim took the matter seriously, however, and investigators were able to identify Barnes and the teen as the primary suspects the day after the fire.