Edmond man gets prison term after entering no contest plea to hate crime

James Brian Roper, 32, accused of punching black teen in face and using racial slurs. Judge sentences him to three years for violating probation in 2007 case.
by Tim Willert Published: October 10, 2012

The 15-year-old suffered multiple injuries to the right side of his face, including a large bruise on his forehead, scratches on his neck and “a gouge” to the back of his right earlobe, police reported.

Roper, in an interview with The Oklahoman, denied targeting the juveniles because of their race, saying he only confronted them because he thought they were gang members casing cars and homes in his neighborhood.

Roper said the teens taunted him and his girlfriend and flashed gang signs before one of them knocked him to the ground and the others started “hitting and kicking him.” He denied chasing the teens or yelling racial epithets at them.

After posting bail, Roper was rearrested, this time by Oklahoma City police, for violating the terms of his probation.

Roper was convicted in 2007 of multiple felonies, including domestic abuse by strangulation, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping and burglary, and spent about six months in prison, court and prison records show. He was released in 2009 and is on probation until 2018.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for FOXSports.com in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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