SC lady responsible of taking pictures Black man whereas yelling epithets

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) – A South Carolina woman was convicted of shooting into the homes of her African-American and Mexican neighbors while shouting racist nicknames and asked the sheriff about the case to say the state needed a law on Hate crimes.

Richland County’s Sheriff Leon Lott told the state newspaper that such a law would have allowed the judge to increase Mandy Fortson’s 20-year sentence after a jury found her guilty of attempted murder and other charges on Friday had found.

Prosecutors said Fortson went into her backyard in 2017 and shot at two of her neighbors’ homes – one apartment with an African American family and one with a Mexican family – while there were children in both apartments.

Authorities said Fortson, who is white, shouted racist surnames over African Americans and Mexicans while firing a three-foot revolver.

An African American was hit in the wrist and hip by the bullets, Fifth Justice District attorney Byron Gipson said. In the other house, no one was physically injured, although the family’s children were still traumatized, Gipson added.

During her trial, Fortson, a former district medic, denied the shooting in the homes. Prosecutors said they had never identified a motive for the crime, despite the abundant evidence against Fortson.

Gipson told the newspaper that if a hate crime law had existed, he would have prosecuted Fortson under that law.

“This shows the need for a hate crime law,” Lott said.

South Carolina is one of only three states without such a law. Legislators are considering a bill to enable prosecutors to ask a jury to recommend additional punishment for a violent crime motivated by the victim’s race, religion, sex, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability is.

The measure was passed in the State House earlier this year and is now in the Senate. The Senators didn’t take up the bill until adjourned earlier this month.

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