2 face hate crime charges after noose found at school

(AP) — Two men already charged in connection with a noose found outside a Maryland middle school are now facing hate crime charges.

The Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney announced Wednesday that prosecutors are charging Conner Prout of Crofton and John Havermann of Pasadena, both 19, with harassing/committing a crime upon a person because of the person’s race/religion and related conspiracy charges. They’re already charged with trespassing, disturbing school operations and disorderly conduct.

Authorities say the noose was spotted hanging from a light at Crofton Middle School on May 11.

The Capital (http://bit.ly/2qSJJ4Q) reports attorneys for the pair say their clients aren’t guilty of a hate crime. Prout’s attorney Richard Trunnell tells The Associated Press it was “an immature prank,” and “there was no intent toward hate.”