Former MU student sentenced to probation, community service in racial slur incident

Jun 5, 2012

More than a year after a vandalism incident that brought race issues to light on the University of Missouri campus, a former MU student has been sentenced to serve probation and community service.

Boone County Circuit Court Judge Christine Carpenter sentenced Ben Elliott to two years probation Monday afternoon. Elliott pleaded guilty to spray painting a racial slur on a statue outside of Hatch Hall on MU’s campus in February 2011.

Elliott originally faced felony hate crime charges. However those charges were reduced to a misdemeanor property damage charge.  County Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Haigh says the charges were reduced because of the way the statute is written.

“In this case, the state would have had to prove that the defendant’s conduct was knowingly motivated by the because of the race of the victim. The victim in this case is the university,” Haigh said.

Elliott is required to complete 100 hours of community service as part of his probation.