CINCINNATI — Nearly three years after destroying a rental home owned by an interracial couple in East Price Hill, Samuel Whitt was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison.
Whitt admitted he spray-painted swastikas and racist language on property owned by Joe and Pat Jude, after they evicted him in the summer of 2016. He returned to the house a few months later for revenge.
Around Thanksgiving 2016, Whitt not only spray-painted the house with hate, he also admitted to pouring concrete down pipes and trying to set the home on fire.
Whitt was indicted in May 2017, according to federal officials. He pleaded guilty in January to criminal interference with the right to fair housing.
Benjamin Glassman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, said the Cincinnati man violated the Fair Housing Act by intimidating two homeowners based on their race, color and familial status.
“I want this conviction and sentence to send a message to racists in the Southern District of Ohio,” Glassman said in a news release. “It’s your right to wallow in noxious beliefs to your heart’s content, but act on those thoughts with violence and you will go to federal prison for a long time.”
Whitt was also ordered to pay more than $66,000 in restitution. He’ll serve three years of supervised release after his release from prison and will spend one year confined to his home.
After Whitt pleaded guilty in January, the Judes told WCPO that they first struggled with grief and anger, but overcame the pain.
“We were like, ‘No, we’re going to rebuild it, and it’s going to be better than it was before, and he won’t win,’” Pat Jude said. “If we just walk away, he’s won.”