Kingsport teen gets probation in racist Obama graffiti case
November 19th, 2010 Kingsport Times-News
A Kingsport man will spend a year on probation for spray painting graffiti that police have described as "racist, obscene and threatening to President Obama" on an I-26 overpass.
Sullivan County Circuit Judge Jerry Beck granted supervised probation for Andy B. Frye, 19, 1608 Seaver Road, Kingsport on Tuesday. While on probation, Beck ordered Frye to pay restitution to the probation office and to complete 10 hours of community service per month.
Beck granted probation for Frye after denying his request for judicial diversion when he pleaded guilty to his vandalism charge in Blountville court on Tuesday. Frye was indicted and arrested on a charge of vandalism over $500 in September 2009.
According to a Kingsport Police Department news release issued after Frye's arrest, the vandalism on the Meadowview Parkway I-26 overpass was reported on April 19, 2009. Some of the graffiti referred to Obama as "the modern Hitler," while other beams on the underpass read "all blacks must die" and "KKK."
Photos of the graffiti were subsequently posted on the Web site of the Douglass Alumni Association, a community group based in the Riverview section of Kingsport.
Detective Chris Tincher said Frye was developed as a suspect following a report on the vandalism that was aired by WCYB-TV. Anonymous tipsters then contacted Kingsport police and implicated Frye.
Tipsters said Frye had also posted racist and anti-Obama comments on the Internet, but authorities were unable to verify those claims, Tincher said.
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