InfoZine reports that Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Independence, MO. woman was indicted by a federal grand jury today for her role in a conspiracy to violate the civil rights of a bi-racial person. Teresa Witthar was charged in a seven-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, MO. The indictment alleges that Witthar participated in a conspiracy to threaten and intimidate Nathaniel Reed, who is bi-racial, to deprive him of his constitutionally protected housing rights because of his race and color. The indictment also charges Witthar with obstructing justice and making false statements to an FBI agent. Witthar and Reed were both residents of Highland Manor Mobile Home Park, 17311 E. 40 Hwy., Independence. Between May 17 and June 8, 2006, Witthar and two uncharged co-conspirators discussed their desire to get Reed out of the neighborhood, the indictment says. On June 5, 2006, Witthar and her co-conspirators allegedly entered Reed’s mobile home and wrote at least 15 racially derogatory slurs on the walls. The indictment then says that on June 8, 2006, one or more of the co-conspirators allegedly set fire to Reed’s mobile home by throwing a gas can with a lit piece of cloth under the mobile home. The federal indictment charges Witthar with two counts of obstructing justice, one for having a person provide an alibi and another for persuading a person to make false statements to the federal grand jury. U.S Attorney Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
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