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HomeGeneralFBI Searches South Carolina Home Following Cross-Burning Reports

FBI Searches South Carolina Home Following Cross-Burning Reports

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A picture of a poster of South Carolina
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On Wednesday, the FBI searched a South Carolina house as part of an ongoing civil rights investigation into alleged racial discrimination. Following harassment charges, a search occurred involving Horry County residents Alexis Paige Hartnett and Worden Evander Butler.

Hartnett and Butler face charges for placing a burning cross in front of a Black neighbor’s home on Corbett Drive in late November. Incident reports reviewed by CBS News provide details about the accused individuals and the disturbing incident.

During the home search, both Worden Evander Butler and Alexis Paige Hartnett, who are White, were present outside. Hartnett was overheard threatening to kill everyone at the scene, including law enforcement and media personnel.

Meanwhile, Butler, with his hands raised, attempted to prevent a photographer from capturing images or taking pictures of him during this unsettling incident.

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In addition to the alleged cross-burning, Hartnett and Butler had “harassed and stalked” the neighbors “with racially motivated words and actions,” according to the incident report.

The day before the reported cross-burning, Worden Evander Butler trespassed onto the neighbor’s property without permission.

Once on the property, Butler attempted to disrupt ongoing work on the neighbor’s home and proceeded to shout racial slurs, according to the allegations. According to the police report, the neighbors fear that Hartnett and Butler, involved in the alleged cross-burning, may escalate their threatening behavior.

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In a police interview recorded on body camera after the reported cross-burning, Alexis Paige Hartnett continuously used a racial slur against her neighbor’s family. Despite police orders to return to her home, Hartnett disregarded them and continued the offensive language during the interview with police officers.

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Following the alleged cross-burning, Worden Evander Butler posted his neighbor’s address on social media. In the post, Butler proclaimed he was “summoning the devil’s army” and displayed indifference, stating, “I don’t care if they and I both go down in the same boat.”

Additionally, Butler stated that he was “about to make them pay” in his social media post. Police said this comment refers to the neighbors’ property being a second home they visit occasionally.

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In a second incident report, officers documented Alexis Paige Hartnett screaming at them, expressing her belief that they shouldn’t be on the property. The report also mentioned that Worden Evander Butler had hand-dug a moat around the property, as observed by the officers.

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On Nov. 24, authorities issued arrest warrants for the couple. They were subsequently apprehended on Nov. 30. According to online records, Hartnett faced charges of harassment in the second-degree and third-degree assault and battery.

On Nov. 24, authorities issued arrest warrants for the couple, and they were subsequently apprehended on Nov. 30. Both individuals were released on Dec. 1, as indicated by the records.

The arrest warrant highlighted that Alexis Paige Hartnett mentioned in a police interview that she had killed a Black woman in the past. However, additional information about that incident was available.

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