Another act racially-driven resulted in a house being set aflame as a man admitted that he set the home of a woman ablaze because she had Black visitors.
Occurring in Charleston, West Virginia, Daryl Lee Fierce, 71, pleaded guilty in April to charges of civil rights violations when he decided to use the element of fire as a means of intimidation, but was absent from his sentencing hearing in federal court last Thursday. Fierce was on the verge of facing 10 years in prison along with a possible $250,000 fine.
Further investigation found Fierce with a gunshot wound to the abdomen at a motel, according to Charleston Police Detective Eric Hodges. The wound apparently was self-inflicted.
The actual incident took place July 16, 2007, when Fierce admitted that he set the rented house of the then 19-year-old Meredith Prunty on fire while she was asleep along with dishing out racial slurs when describing the colored visitors that came to her residence. Fortunately Prunty was not hurt as the fire was put out before it could spread throughout the house. The two had engaged in an argument prior to the burning about her associating with Black people and dating a Black man. Prunty is a white woman.
Along with this, Prunty had reported that the tires of her car had been slashed and had to deal with constant harassment from Fierce and his roommate.
In November of 2007, the man was indicted for his actions although he denied the act and questioning how could a homosexual be a racist?
Scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Fierce was nowhere to be found as the judge asked for his lawyer to locate his client. After an hour elapsed, the accused was still nowhere to be found. Although it was reported that he had entered in a taxi around 1:15, by 3 his presence was not within the court room. As a result, a bench warrant was issued by U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. through the request of Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Johnston.
Fierce was listed to be in critical condition at the Charleston Area Medical Center’s General Hospital and as of now the case has been placed into the hands of federal investigators.
It’s sickening to know that with these events, although happening two years ago, still occur in America. The issue of race relations is alarming and unforgivable to believe that a country that dubs itself the land of the free is accustomed to such acts of hatred with no solution anywhere in sight.