Glenn Eugene Halfin, 64, a retired firefighter from Grapevine, Texas, was sentenced to a year in prison on Wednesday for committing a hate crime by using a noose against his African-American neighbors.
According to Dallas News, Halfin pleaded guilty in July to a misdemeanor charge of interfering with an African-American family’s housing rights.
The former firefighter bought a Black doll at Walmart, which he later hung by a noose to the railing in front of the apartment of Dante Petty, his girlfriend and daughter. According to court documents, the doll was placed “directly in front of the only staircase the family could use to access their apartment.”
Petty wrote in a Facebook post that he had issues with Halfin after moving into the apartment in June 2017.
The 64-year-old reportedly hung a doll on three different occasions.
Halfin was evicted from the apartment complex in January after video recording showed him placing the doll in from of Petty’s apartment. He was also arrested and initially charged with stalking, which later became a charge of threatening a person’s housing rights due to their race or color.
Brook Antonio, Halfin’s lawyer, said he acted out of “anger and frustration,” claiming the Petty family, who lived about his client, would stomp on the floor and pour urine and feces down onto his porch.
“It’s not a situation where he’s a racist,” Antonio said. “This incident is not who he is.”
U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said, “No one should be afraid to go home at night,” regarding Halfin’s guilty plea.
He continued, “Our community will not tolerate crimes of intimidation or bigotry, and my office will continue to prosecute all those who persecute others based on their race, color, ethnicity, or religious beliefs.”
Halfin is expected to report to prison in 30 days.