Mich. woman ordered to write diversity essay after racial slurs - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Mich. woman ordered to write diversity essay after racial slurs

Posted: Updated:
Leah Keaton (left) and her ex-boyfriend Joseph Starr (right) Leah Keaton (left) and her ex-boyfriend Joseph Starr (right)
YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -

A 19-year-old white Ypsilanti Township woman was ordered to write a 200- to 250-word essay on diversity, attend a racial sensitivity class, spend six months in jail and serve two years' probation for racial slurs aimed at her black next-door neighbor.

Judge Darlene O'Brien called Leah Keaton's behavior "very, very hurtful" during Monday's sentencing in Washtenaw County Probate Court, AnnArbor.com reported (http://bit.ly/1f4LvzE ) Thursday. Keaton had pleaded guilty July 23 to ethnic intimidation.

"I want to get my life on a better track," Keaton told O'Brien.

Keaton's 23-year-old neighbor told police she was pushed to the ground after confronting Keaton and her ex-boyfriend, Joseph Starr, on July 3 upon overhearing them repeatedly use a racial slur.

Police left after no one answered the door at Keaton's home, about 30 miles southwest of Detroit. But officers returned after receiving complaints that Keaton and Starr were throwing rocks at the neighbor's house and singing songs about killing black people.

Keaton and Starr were arrested a few days later. Authorities later learned the same racial slur had been used toward the neighbor's 63-year-old father.

"You are a danger to the race you are targeting," assistant Washtenaw County Prosecutor Brenda Taylor told Keaton. Taylor also read aloud in court a Facebook post in which Keaton bragged about the incident.

Laura Dudley, Keaton's court-appointed attorney, argued that her client was influenced by her ex-boyfriend. Starr was sentenced Aug. 8 to 60 days in jail after pleading no contest to assault and battery.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:01 AM EDT2014-07-28 14:01:04 GMT
    As of 6 a.m., approximately 165,000 DTE Energy customers are out of electric service due to the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. DTE has restored power to 21,000 customers that were affected by the storm, which included wind gusts of up to 70 m.p.h. in the DTE service area.
    As of 6 a.m., approximately 165,000 DTE Energy customers are out of electric service due to the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. DTE has restored power to 21,000 customers that were affected by the storm, which included wind gusts of up to 70 m.p.h. in the DTE service area.
  • Dollar Tree buys Family Dollar

    Dollar Tree buys Family Dollar

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:34 AM EDT2014-07-28 11:34:12 GMT
    Dollar Tree is buying rival discount store Family Dollar in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $8.5 billion.
    Dollar Tree is buying rival discount store Family Dollar in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $8.5 billion.
  • Storm damage in Oakland and Macomb counties

    Storm damage in Oakland and Macomb counties

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:27 AM EDT2014-07-28 10:27:31 GMT
    Damage was reported across Metro Detroit Sunday after severe storms moved across our area. About 200,000 customers lost power in the hail, heavy rain, strong winds, localized flooding and thunder and lightning.
    Damage was reported across Metro Detroit Sunday after severe storms moved across our area. About 200,000 customers lost power in the hail, heavy rain, strong winds, localized flooding and thunder and lightning.
Powered by WorldNow

WFTC-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices