Mixed-Race Student Sentenced in Hate Incident
ADOLPHE V. BERNOTAS
Dec. 29, 1995
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ A mixed-race student who attended Dartmouth College was placed on five years' probation and fined $225 today for threatening to kill a black alumni association's treasurer and to rape his wife.
U.S. Magistrate James Muirhead also ordered Anthony Lightfoot, 25, of Lynwood, Wash., to sell his assault rifle.
Lightfoot, who pleaded guilty in September, told the magistrate he was ``deeply embarrassed and ashamed'' that he violated Morris Whitaker's right to help other blacks attend Dartmouth.
But outside the courtroom, he told reporters, ``my comments to the judge were strictly for his benefit.''
In November 1994, Lightfoot sent to Whitaker's North Carolina home a letter saying if he received further correspondence from the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association, he would lynch Whitaker and rape and shoot Whitaker's wife. The letter contained racial slurs and obscenities and implied the sender was white, the FBI said.
Lightfoot faced up to one year in prison and a $20,000 fine. A plea bargain had recommended five years' probation and no fine.
Lightfoot, whose mother is white and father black and native American, would have graduated last June had Dartmouth not suspended him.
He spent seven weeks in a federal psychiatric center, where he was judged competent to stand trial.
Muirhead ordered that Lightfoot be tested for drugs within 15 days, then twice more during his probation, that he get mental counseling and stay away from drugs, alcohol and firearms.
When Lightfoot was asked to elaborate on his statement outside of court that he had tailored his remarks to the magistrate, his lawyer, Kristin Spath, threatened to break off the interview. ``He does believe in what he said and is sincere in what he said,'' Spath said.
Lightfoot told the judge his ``behavior was extremely disgraceful because I have benefited from the civil rights struggle.'' But outside court, he said, ``affirmative action has no place at Dartmouth, or society or Western civilization.'' He said the school ``has done me no favors.''
Lightfoot entered Dartmouth in 1988 and took 2 1/2 years off to serve in the Army. A history and political science student, Lightfoot was a regular contributor to the conservative off-campus student publication, The Dartmouth Review.