Georgia Man Charged for Making Racially-Motivated Threats and Shooting at His Black Neighbor

A Georgia man was arrested for making racially-motivated threats and shooting at his neighbor, a Black man, in violation of the criminal provision of the Fair Housing Act, and for brandishing and using a firearm.

According to court documents, Mark Wheeler, 73, shot a .22 caliber revolver in the direction of the victim and the victim’s dwelling while yelling racial slurs.

If convicted, Wheeler faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for both the civil rights and firearm charges. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Peter Leary for the Middle District of Georgia and Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley of the FBI Atlanta Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI Atlanta Field Office is investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Peach and Sonja Profit for the Middle District of Georgia and Trial Attorney Anita Channapati of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

View the indictment here. 

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