Student charged with writing racist graffiti outside Hatch Residence Hall

Friday, March 11, 2011 | 11:57 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Charges have been filed against the student who allegedly spray painted racist graffiti on a statue outside Hatch Residence Hall on Feb. 12. 

Benjamin Elliott, 18, was charged with second-degree property damage motivated by discrimination. Based on the nature of the words used in the graffiti, county prosecutors enhanced the charge using Missouri Revised Statutes section557.035, which increases penalties for crimes motivated by race.

Elliott's arraignment is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday at Boone County Courthouse. Ryan Haigh, Boone County assistant prosecutor, said Elliott's defense waived its right of arraignment and Elliott will not likely appear.

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