YAZOO CITY, Miss. – A white father and son have been convicted of a hate crime and sentenced to four years in prison for shooting at and attempting to run over two Black teens riding ATVs in Yazoo County, Miss.
Wade Twiner, 49, and his son, Lane Twiner, 23, were convicted of two counts of simple assault and one count of malicious mischief on Wednesday. Both men were sentenced in Yazoo County courthouse on Friday.
Because the jury found the men guilty of hate crimes, their sentences were increased from 6 months to a year with a $500 fine increased to $1000. With the increased sentence, the father and son will each serve two years consecutively for both counts of simple assault.
Both men were also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service, attend sensitive training, and pay $2,500 in restitution to the victims in addition to $2,500 in fines.
The Twiners were arrested in September 2020 after chasing two teenagers and repeatedly shooting at them from their pickup truck. The two teens were riding ATVs on a country road close to the Twiners’ home. At some point, the father and son began chasing after the two boys, firing several shots and bumping into one of the ATVs with the pickup. A 9 mm handgun was recovered at the scene by authorities.
The teens were not injured, but told investigators they were frightened for their lives.
According to Yazoo County Sheriff Jake Sheriff, the Twiners said they own land on both sides of the public road and they should not have to deal with people riding ATVs on the road. The sheriff said other people were riding ATVs near the Twiners’ home the day they chased and shot at the Black teenagers.
Sheriff told the Clarion Ledger investigators looked at social media posts made by one of the Twiners, including a Facebook post with the phrase “Redneck Neighborhood Watch” and a photo of a Confederate flag.
The district attorney’s office said that there could also be a retrial for the aggravated assault charge as the jury couldn’t reach a verdict.