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Second suspect pleads guilty to hanging dead raccoon on porch of black family

Federal prosecutors have announced that a second suspect has pleaded guilty to hanging a dead raccoon from a porch of a family from Africa who live in Middle River in order to frighten them.

Authorities said Billy Ray Pratt, 24, of Halethorpe, faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced Aug. 17. A co-conspirator, Joshua Wall, 20, of Essex, is to be sentenced the same day and faces the same penalty.

Both suspects pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deprive a citizen of their civil rights.

The Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office said that two years ago, Wall, Pratt and three others "agreed on a plan to hang a dead raccoon from a noose on the porch of an African family to frighten the family."

Authorities said that "Pratt claimed that two of his co-conspirators drove around until they found a dead raccoon and made the noose to put around the raccoon’s neck. Wall and a co-conspirator hung the raccoon on the porch of the home in the middle of the night while Pratt acted as a look-out."
 
According to the plea agreement, the incident occurred after a fight between a child who lived with Wall and the son of the victims' family.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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