Columbia Man Accuses Neighbors of Hate Crime

8 years 2 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, December 22 2010 Dec 22, 2010 Wednesday, December 22, 2010 6:36:15 PM CST December 22, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - Donnie Butler told KOMU 8 News Wednesday prosecutors are investigating whether to charge one of his neighbors with a hate crime for allegedly leaving a book containing racially insensitive material on his doorstep Saturday. Police arrested the neighbor who they said admitted to committing the crime.

Butler said he found the book titled "Ten Little N******" wrapped in Christmas paper and immediately called the police. He said he told police he thought he knew the suspect to be one of his neighbors. Columbia Police interviewed one other neighbor, who directed them to Miranda Spurling. Police said Spurling admitted to wrapping the book and placing it on Butler's doorstep. Police took her into custody for harassment and she posted a $500 bond.

Last week, Butler filed a protection order against the neighbor who led police to Spurling. Butler said the problems began in September after a fire that allegedly started in that neighbor's apartment. He said the two have not had a good relationship since.

The Columbia Police Department said the crime is not being called a hate crime yet. Officer Jill Wieneke said the term "hate crime" is a specific charge that is added by the prosecutor's office.

"It is an enhancement to many different crimes that fall under Missouri statue," Wieneke said.

The future of the case will not be determined until further review by the prosecutor.

Tuesday, Butler received a notice of eviction from his landlord. He called the landlord who Butler said told him he was causing problems with other tenants.

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