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City man found guilty for grabbing child on street

July 21, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

City man found guilty for grabbing child on street



A Hagerstown man with a history of painting racist graffiti on buildings has been convicted of second-degree assault for grabbing a black child on the street after yelling racial statements at the child's white mother.

Joshua Erick Leggett, 25, of 127 E. Franklin St., was jailed without bond Thursday pending completion of a pre-sentence investigation ordered by Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell.

A jury of seven women and five men deliberated just over three hours before returning a guilty verdict.

Leggett could get up to 10 years in prison.

Testimony centered on events Feb. 22 shortly after 11 a.m. when Wendy Chaney was walking in the first block of North Locust Street with her three children.

She testified she was approached from behind by a white man who began yelling racial obscenities at her and her children.

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References were made to lynching and to monkeys, according to court records.

Then, Chaney said, the man grabbed her 2-year-old son and held him up by his collar. That caused the boy to be quite shaken, his mother said.

Chaney contacted Hagerstown City Police and gave them a description of a suspect who Officer Brian Barnhart believed to be Leggett, court records said.

Chaney was then shown a photo lineup and immediately pointed to Leggett, court records said.

On April 22, 1997, Leggett was sentenced to two years in prison for convictions in Washington County Circuit Court on racial harassment charges for spraying graffiti at two laundromats.

Leggett also received two concurrent sentences of six months each for malicious destruction of property.

Swastikas, the letters "SS," a drawing of a hangman, references to Aryan Nation and other ethnic remarks were found inside and outside the buildings, police said in 1996.

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