A third man has been indicted in federal court in a cross-burning case in Middle Tennessee.
Timothy Flanagan, 44, was indicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Nashville on charges of conspiracy against another's rights, interference with housing rights and the use of fire to commit a felony. He and two other men are accused of burning a cross on a mixed-race couple's driveway on April 30, 2012.
The two other men, Timothy Stafford and Ivan Rutherford IV, have already pleaded guilty and await separate sentencing hearings in August. Stafford faces up to 10 years in federal prison. Rutherford faces up to 5 years.
Minor Hill sits about 90 miles south of Nashville, near the Alabama border. It is also about 13 miles southwest of Pulaski, which is the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan.
According to court records:
In 2012, Flanagan and the others were angry that a white woman had a child with a black man. In response, they built a 6- or 7-foot wooden cross, covered it with cloth and doused it with gasoline, court records show. They then drove to the couple's trailer, planted it in the driveway and lit it on fire.
The court records do not name the victims in the case. Nor do they indicate whether Flanagan had an attorney.
The new indictment comes as Tennessee reports an increase in statewide hate crimes. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation this week released a report showing hate crimes rose by 17 percent in 2013 when compared to 2012, with 348 people being victims of crimes that were linked to a bias. That's the highest number of hate crimes since 2008 and represents three straight years of increases.