A Mississippi father and son have been sentenced for their role in a hate crime against two Black teenagers riding on ATVs in an incident dating back to September 2020.
Wade Oscar Twiner and his son, Lane Irvine Twiner, were sentenced on Friday, Aug. 27, after a Yazoo County jury found the two men, 49 years old and 22 years old, respectively, guilty of two counts of simple assault and one count of malicious mischief.
According to court documents obtained by the Clarion-Ledger, both men were each sentenced to 6 months in prison and a $500 fine for each simple assault. However, due to the hate crime enhancement, their sentences were increased to a year and a $1,000 fine, leaving the men to serve two years each on those counts.
Under the state’s law, “the penalty for any felony or misdemeanor shall be subject to enhancement as provided in Sections 99-19-301 through 99-19-307 if the felony or misdemeanor was committed because of the actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, national origin or gender of the victim.”
In addition, each Twiner was also sentenced to five years for malicious mischief but was granted three years suspended, leaving them to only serve two years on those convictions. In total, both men would do four years in a Mississippi Department of Corrections prison with three years of supervised probation, each, as their sentences are to run consecutively.
They were also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service and complete a series of sensitivity training classes. Each defendant will also have to pay $2,500 in fines and $2,500 in restitution to the victims and will not be permitted to contact them or their families.
As previously reported, Wade and Lane admitted to shooting at two Black teens Steven Gibbs and Deveon Luckett, on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. The men told Yazoo County deputies that they had grown tired of joyriders operating their four-wheelers on the dirt road near their property; they owned land on both sides of the dirt path.
However, the young men claimed they were never trespassing. Nevertheless, Wade and Lane chased the teens in their pickup truck, firing several shots at them before attempting to run them off the road.
At one point they rammed their vehicle into the back of one of the ATVs. Luckily, Gibbs and Luckett were both left unharmed, and the father and son were later arrested. While it is illegal to ride off-road vehicles like ATVs on highways and public areas, the lane near the Twiners was popular destination for riders and the prohibitions were rarely enforced.