A second University of Mississippi ex-student is pleading guilty for tying a noose around a school statue.
On February 15, 2014, three Sigma Phi Epsilon frat brothers put a noose, along with a Confederate-emblemed Georgia state flag, on a statue of the university’s first black student James Meredith (he integrated in 1962 amid protests).
Austin Reed Edenfield was reportedly set to enter a guilty plea in September before a judge pushed back his court date. The Associated Press reports:
The filing doesn’t indicate what charge Edenfield faces. People typically agree to waive indictment and plead guilty in federal court as part of a plea bargain. Edenfield’s lawyer hasn’t responded to requests for comment.
The other accomplices in the incident are former student Graeme Phillip Harris, who came up with the idea while drunk, and a third Sigma freshman, who has yet to face charges.
Harris pleaded guilty in June to a misdemeanor charge of threatening force to intimidate African-American students and employees at the university after prosecutors agreed to drop a stiffer felony charge in exchange. His lawyer argued Harris didn’t deserve prison, saying he’d written a letter of apology to Meredith after falling under the influence of racist traditions at the fraternity.
The three culprits were kicked out of the frat and Sig Ep shut down its Ole Miss chapter months later in April.
Harris was captured on camera returning to the scene of the incident the morning after. He’s currently serving six months in a federal prison in North Carolina, with a subsequent year-long supervised release.
Image via WREG