glp; inside local

glp; inside local

By Eileen Bailey

Daily Journal

Local authorities are continuing their investigation into the burning of a cross last week in the yard of one of Chickasaw County first black supervisors with federal authorities expected to join the case at the end of the week.

William Catledge, an attorney representing District 1 Supervisor Thomas Guido, said the Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Department was following up on several leads. “They (local authorities) have had the case only a week and the are moving forward as best they can,” he said.

Catledge said he expects federal authorities could become more involved in the case by later in the week. Chickasaw County Sheriff Jimmy Simmons could not be reached for comment.

Guido’s wife, Mary, was home with the couple’s three children, ages 2,7 and 11, at about 10 p.m. on Feb. 26 when the incident took place. After being notified by a neighbor that something was burning in her yard, Mary Guido looked out and saw a cross burning. She called her husband and the local authorities immediately.

Thomas Guido, 32, said the cross was still burning when he got home a few minutes after he received his wife’s call. The cross was about 6 feet high and 3 feet wide. He said it was placed at the edge of his driveway in a 5-gallon bucket filled with rocks.

This was the first time something like this had happened to Guido and according to Catledge his client has received no other threats.

Federal authorities may also investigate the incident as a possible violation of civil rights law. A federal violation could be prosecuted as a felony, while under state law the act would likely be deemed a misdemeanor.

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