Local News

Raleigh man gets 45-day jail sentence for hate crimes

Posted October 1, 2008 6:00 a.m. EDT
Updated October 1, 2008 12:17 p.m. EDT

— A Raleigh man will spend 45 days in prison on two federal hate crime charges for sending threatening e-mails to Hispanic and Islamic advocacy groups last year.

Pleading guilty to the charges Tuesday, Christopher Szaz, 42, said he was "extremely intoxicated" when he threatened the National Council of La Raza with racial slurs and threats on its employees' lives.

He said the e-mails – one on July 27, 2007, to La Raza and an earlier one with similar threats on June 8, 2007, to the Council on American-Islamic Relations – were not things he would normally write.

U.S. District Judge James Gates sentenced Szaz Wednesday. He was also sentenced to a year of probation.

Szaz apologized for the crimes Tuesday, saying he is an alcoholic who has been in Alcoholics Anonymous.