NJ man’s racist rant lands him 3 years in prison in rare hate crime case
UNION TOWNSHIP (Union) — A 59-year-old township resident’s racist, threatening tirade against his neighbors has landed him in state prison.
Glenn Miller was sentenced Friday to three years after pleading guilty to second-degree bias intimidation.
The case was a rare instance of a hate crime prosecution in the state.
Miller’s case was the first bias case to be handled by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office since 2014.
In 2015, the most recent year for which statewide statistics are available, police recorded 346 bias incident investigations. But just 50 resulted in arrests and even fewer resulted in indictments or prosecutions in Superior Court.
Union County had seven hate crimes reported in 2014 and six in 2015, none involving violent crimes.
Miller, who is white, was charged after hurling anti-black slurs against a black couple living next door. He also threatened to kill his male neighbor and rape his wife.
The bigoted diatribes were prompted by his neighbors calling police on March 3 to complain about him parking his truck on the grass divider between the sidewalk and curb in front of their home.
Police wrote Miller a ticket. Four days later, the couple called police again to report the same problem. When confronted by the couple and police, authorities said Miller went ballistic.
He was arrested that day and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest — charges that normally would be handled in Municipal Court. Later that month, however, prosecutors upgraded the charges to include bias intimidation, which state law defines as committing or threatening to commit a crime with the purpose of intimidating someone on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or ethnicity.
“This was an attempt to terrorize people based on their race,” Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Barnes said.
Superior Court Judge John Deitch called Miller’s behavior “outrageous.”
Miller, however, likely will not serve the entirely of his three-year sentence.
Part of his sentence already has been served for the months he spent in Union County Jail since his March arrest, after which a judge ordered him held without bail under the state’s new bail reform rules.
A spokesman for the Union County Prosecutor’s Office said Miller apologized to his victims at his sentencing.
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