A Green Forest man named Frankie Maybee who attacked a car with five Hispanic men in it has been found guilty by a federal jury of five counts of committing a federal hate crime and one count of conspiring to commit a federal hate crime.
According to prosecutors, Frankie Maybee and another Sean Popejoy, in Alpena, on June 20, deliberately crashed their truck into the car in which the Hispanic men were riding. The car burst into flames and the five Hispanics in the car were injured.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, the conviction is the first for violation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Frankie Maybee's companion, Sean Popejoy, pleaded guilty to committing a federal hate crime and conspiracy.
The Spring 2011 issue of the quarterly investigative Intelligence Report of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) indicates an explosive growth of Right Extremist Hate groups, and hate crimes in the U.S., with "Patriot" movements showing the most dramatic growth pattern, a second straight year running. According to the SPLC report, a total of 1,002 hate groups were documented in the U.S. for the first time since the 1980s that the SPLC has been documenting their growth in the U.S.
SPLC identifies a number of related factors as explaining the explosive growth in hate groups and hate crimes, which include feelings of resentment among Whites over the changing racial demographics of the country, the controversy over President Obama's proposed Immigration Law reform, the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories on the motives of President Obama's proposed immigration law reforms and frustrations over poor performance of the economy in recent times.