Woman sentenced to nine years for mailing threats of violence, racial slurs to neighbors

Published 10:38 am Monday, July 31, 2023

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A Jefferson County woman was sentenced to nine years in prison at U.S. District Court in Louisville, followed by three years of supervised release, after being convicted of mailing communications to her neighbors in 2020 threatening to injure them because of their race.

According to court documents, Suzanne Craft, 55, of Louisville, sent multiple threatening communications via the U.S. Postal Service to an interracial couple and their children, who lived in the same Lake Forest neighborhood as Craft. Many of these communications contained threats of violence and racial slurs.

Following a jury trial in March, Craft was convicted of five counts of mailing threatening communications. The jury further found that, for each of these five counts, Craft sent the threatening communications to her neighbors because of their actual or perceived race or color.

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“This sentence sends a clear message regarding our commitment to ending hate-motivated violence and threats of violence,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “There is no room in civilized society for violent threats based on race. We hope that this result brings some measure of peace to victims who had to suffer through the defendant’s terrifying threats of racial violence.”

Michael Bennett, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, stated, “The citizens of the Western District who live in communities throughout our 53 counties have the right to live and raise their families free from threats of violence made on the basis of race. The nine-year sentence imposed by the court in this case sends a strong message that this type of activity is criminal, will not be tolerated and that this office will take action to protect our citizens from racial hatred.”

Craft also faces three counts of criminal mischief and three counts of harassing communications at Jefferson District Court after being accused of spray-painting racial slurs on the Lake Forest family’s driveway and was allegedly caught on surveillance camera using chemicals to burn a swastika into their lawn.