Men plead not guilty to Region 8 race crime charge

Gary Dodson (Source: Pulaski Co. Sheriff)
Gary Dodson (Source: Pulaski Co. Sheriff)
Jason Barnwell (Source: Pulaski Co. Sheriff)
Jason Barnwell (Source: Pulaski Co. Sheriff)

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AP) - Four men accused of targeting an Arkansas interracial in a Molotov cocktail attack have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The attorneys for Dustin Hammond, Jason Barnwell, Gary Dodson and Jake Murphy entered pleas on their behalf Thursday in federal court in Little Rock.

Hammond was released on his own recognizance and the other three were remanded to custody. All are due back in court on May 31.

The four men face a civil rights charge and other counts after they allegedly drove to the home of a black man and white woman in Hardy and targeted it with a Molotov cocktail. The couple wasn't injured.

Wendy Treybig pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to help cover up the incident.

Attorneys for the men declined comment.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KAIT) – A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted four men and a woman from Sharp County, Arkansas.

According to the Department of Justice, the five were indicted on charges stemming from the fire-bombing of an interracial couple's home in Hardy, Arkansas.

Charged are 37-year-old Jason Barnwell of Evening Shade, 32-year-old Gary Dodson and 19-year-old Jake Murphy of Waldron and 20-year-old Dustin Hammond of Hardy.

They're accused of lobbing Molotov cocktails into the home of a mixed race couple in January.  According to the court documents, the couple was also barraged with racial slurs and threatened with more violence if they did not leave.

A judge denied bond for both Barnwell and Dodson.  Both remain in custody.

Barnwell, Dodson, Murphy and Hammond are charged with one count of conspiracy to interfere with the housing rights of another, one count of interfering with the housing rights of another, one count of possessing an unregistered firearm, one count of using fire in the commission of a felony and one count of using a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence.  Barnwell is also charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm.

Barnwell's girlfriend, 31-year-old Wendy Treybig of Evening Shade was indicted for obstruction of justice.  Prosecutors say she tried to cover up the incident.

If convicted, Barnwell faces up to 85 years in prison.  Dodson, Murphy and Hammond face up to 70 years.  If convicted, Treybig could receive as much as 20 years.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.