Shepherd Hoehn, a 50-year-old from Indiana, is facing federal hate crime charges after the Department of Justice said he burned crosses, displayed a swastika and displayed a sign with racial slurs, among other forms of intimidation.
According to the DOJ, the incident began on June 18, 2020, after Hoehn’s neighbor, who remains unidentified, called in a construction crew to remove a tree from the neighbor’s property. For some reason Hoehn became angry and then worked to “intimidate and interfere with his neighbor and the construction workers,” the press release noted.
In addition to burning a cross above the fence line facing the neighbor’s property, displaying the swastika and the sign with racial slurs, Hoehn also reportedly displayed a machete, loudly played the song “Dixie” on repeat and threw eggs at his neighbor’s home, according to the DOJ.
Eventually, on July 1, 2020, the FBI executed a search warrant at Hoehn’s home and found multiple firearms and drug paraphernalia. It turns out that Hoehn was a fugitive from a case in Missouri and should not have been in possession of firearms. In addition to the hate crime charge for making threats to intimidate and interfere with his neighbor, the 50-year-old is also charged with two counts of unlawful weapons possession.
If convicted, Hoehn faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the charges.