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Hate charges filed against man who threatened to shoot minorities, prosecutors say

Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

Prosecutors have filed hate crime and weapons charges against a San Luis Obispo man they say sent racist greeting cards in which he threatened to shoot minorities moving into his neighborhood.

Richard Orcutt, 62, is charged with 10 felonies -- eight counts of criminal threats and two counts of possession of an assault weapon, the San Luis Obispo County district attorney's office announced Tuesday. Prosecutors filed enhancements for four of the threat counts, alleging they were committed as hate crimes.

Orcutt is accused of sending threatening greeting cards in May to property owners on Cavalier Lane, where he has lived for 30 years. The cards, which bore no return name or address, featured an American flag printed on the front, police said. Written inside were threats to shoot property managers and future tenants of certain racial or ethnic groups, according to authorities.

Investigators searched Orcutt's home on June 30 and seized 37 firearms, including an AR-15 rifle, and a cache of ammunition, prosecutors said. He was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail and released after posting $500,000 bond.

Orcutt was arraigned Monday but did not enter a plea. He faces up to 14 years and eight months in prison, if convicted, prosecutors said.


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