WNCN-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina, sought out McGuireWoods partner
Colon Willoughby for his knowledge of North Carolina’s hate crimes law in the wake of the
recent mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Willoughby, a Raleigh-based member of the firm’s Government Investigations
& White Collar Litigation Department, served as district attorney in
Wake County, North Carolina, for 27 years before joining McGuireWoods. He
told the CBS affiliate that the state has a criminal charge of “ethnic
intimidation,” which can be hard to prove and carries lighter punishment
than a related violent crime charge.
“(In) most of the cases where the motive was based on some ethnicity,
gender, race, religion, the principal charge was more serious,” Willoughby
said. “An ethnic intimidation charge might have a very small sentence
compared to an aggravated assault with a weapon, or a homicide.”
Visit the station’s
for the story and the video, where Willoughby’s remarks begin at the 1:25