Racial tensions run high in Newberry County as the investigation continues into the death of Anthony Hill, the African-American man shot to death and dragged 10 miles from the back of a pickup truck. Gregory Collins, a white man, is charged with Hill’s murder.
A number of citizens in the county want Collins charged with a hate crime. In a community meeting at Newberry High School Thursday night, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles says the decision whether to charge Collins with a hate crime will be based on the definition of the crime under federal statute and definition.
150 citizens showed up for the meeting. Also in attendance were Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster and representatives of SLED.
On June 28, members of the New Black Panther party held a protest rally in Newberry calling for Collins to be charged with a hate crime. Nettles says the decision ultimately rests with him. He says he will make his decision based on the timeline of the investigation and of his office, not on the timeline of others not involved in the investigation. Nettles says he took an oath to operate the office of U.S. Attorney fairly and impartially.