2 More Sentenced To Prison For Roles In Chesco Cross-burning The Men Apologized For The Honey Brook Incident. They Were Trying To Drive Away A Black Family.

Posted: January 05, 1995

Two former self-proclaimed members of the Ku Klux Klan were sentenced to federal prison yesterday after apologizing for their part in a Chester County cross-burning in May.

Jeremy Madden, 20, identified by federal investigators as an instigator in the incident that sought to drive out the only black family in the town of Honey Brook, was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison.

Keith Holeton, 25, was sentenced to five years. Each was ordered to pay $600 in restitution.

The two were among eight people who pleaded guilty to roles in the May 30 incident. Last month, Robert Jackson Hester, 19, was sentenced to five years in prison.

The remaining defendants in the case are scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Rice said that Madden was one of two white ringleaders who set out to harass a black family solely on the basis of race.

According to Rice, Madden had waged a campaign of intimidation and harassment against Beverly Miller and her family for several months prior to the cross-burning. That campaign of harassment included verbally assaulting the Millers and throwing rocks at their car windows.

After the cross-burning, the Millers moved out of Honey Brook to an undisclosed location.

Before the sentence was imposed, Madden apologized for "setting back race relations in Chester County" and told U.S. District Judge John P. Fullam that he had learned since his arrest that black people had the same right as anyone else to live where they chose. Both men apologized to Beverly Miller and her children - on whose front steps the cross was burned.

In sentencing Madden, the judge said he took into consideration the young man's personal history, which included the death of his father when Madden was 4 years old and estrangement from his stepfather, a Presbyterian minister whom he had threatened to kill.

The judge also gave Madden credit for cooperating with the government.

Holeton did not cooperate with federal investigators. For that reason, Fullam said, he had to impose the mandatory minimum sentence of five years even though he felt Holeton "exhibited more complete remorse" than the other defendants and was less likely to commit another hate crime.

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