Former MU Student Pleads Guilty to Racist Graffiti
COLUMBIA - Former MU student Benjamin Elliot pleaded guilty to property damage in the second degree on Monday during a hearing at the Boone County courthouse. Elliot was charged with spray painting a racial slur on Hatch Hall. According to Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Haigh, Elliot will spend 90 days in the Boone County jail and has a two-year suspension of unsupervised probation under the conditions that he:
- Pays restitution back to the University of Missouri
- Completes 100 hours of community service
- Reports all arrests
- Has no law violations
- Pays court costs and crime victim's compensation fund
County prosecutors did not pursue the hate crime charge against Elliot. A hate crime charge requires that acts be knowingly motivated by the race of the victim. In Elliot's case, Haigh said the University was the victim and the University doesn't have a race; therefore, the prosecutors office could not charge Elliot with a hate crime. Instead, Elliot faces a misdemeanor.