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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

A man suspected of being a white supremacist was sent to prison Tuesday after pleading no contest to punching a black teen and using racial slurs.

James Brian Roper, 32, of Edmond, was charged with assault and battery based on race, a misdemeanor. He received a one-year jail sentence, prosecutors said.

Oklahoma County District Judge Kenneth C. Watson also sentenced Roper, a felon, to three years in prison for violating his probation in a 2007 case. Roper agreed to the prison term as part of a deal with prosecutors and will serve the sentences concurrently.

He pleaded guilty last month to the probation violation. He attempted unsuccessfully to withdraw that plea Tuesday, prosecutors said.

Roper was arrested about 8 p.m. June 27 near the intersection of Sand Springs Trail and Fountain View in Edmond, after neighbors told police they saw a man with a gun chasing a group of teens.

The man pursued two of the teens on foot. He caught up to a 15-year-old and punched him in the face repeatedly, police said.

He called the teens “a myriad of names,” including a derogatory term for blacks, Edmond police officer Matthew Richardson wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

The teens told police the man reached into the front of his pants, as if reaching for a gun. He then told them, “I ain't gonna have no gang bangers in my neighborhood,” as he lifted his shirt and pointed to a tattoo of a swastika above his stomach, according to the affidavit.

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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 in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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