Man Sentenced to Probation in 2009 Ozark Cross Burning

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DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) -- A south Alabama man has been sentenced to probation and home confinement after pleading guilty to burning a cross in a black neighborhood in 2009.

The Dothan Eagle reports 24-year-old Thomas Wendell Smith pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate housing rights and was sentenced to five years of probation and eight months of home confinement.

Authorities have said Smith and Steven Joshua Dinkle both pleaded guilty to burning a roughly 6-foot-tall cross at the entrance of a black neighborhood in Ozark.

Dinkle, whom investigators have said is the former exalted Cyclops of the Ozark chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, was sentenced to two years in prison. His mother has also been charged with impeding the investigation into the incident and is expected to stand trial.

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