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Prosecutor: NC fires set to discourage Hispanics

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WINSTON-SALEM — A North Carolina prosecutor says four men who have been charged with burning vacant houses in east Winston-Salem wanted to prevent Hispanics from moving into the structures.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that two of the men pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including burning a building. Another was scheduled to plead guilty Thursday.

Prosecutor Drew Cochran said the men “didn’t like Hispanics moving in,” so went to the houses to smoke marijuana and then set them on fire. Their accounts differed as to who set the fires.

One man who pleaded guilty to burning a building was sentenced to 12 to 15 months in prison under a plea deal. The other was sentenced to probation.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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A North Carolina prosecutor says four men who have been charged with burning vacant houses in east Winston-Salem wanted to prevent Hispanics from moving into the structures.

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