Oildale man sentenced to 15 years in prison for a hate crime

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - An Oildale man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday in Fresno federal court for a hate crime.

In 2015, Justin Whittington, 25, was indicted on federal hate crime charges.

That case stemmed from an incident in December 2012 when Whittington fired a sawed off shotgun at a Hispanic family who had moved into his neighborhood.

He reportedly shouted expletives and told them to move.

Prosecutors said he then fired the gun at a convenience store owned by a man of middle eastern descent, shattering a glass door.

In December 2016, a jury found Whittington guilty of interfering with a person's housing rights because of his race, color, or national origin by use of force or threat of force; use of a firearm during a crime of violence, and making a false statement to a special agent of the FBI. 

The U.S. Attorney's office and the Kern County Sheriff's Office is set to hold a news conference about the case at 3 p.m. Monday in response to Whittington's sentencing.

Whittington also made the news in the spring of 2015 when he was caught on a surveillance camera hitting his son when the boy ran away from him at a Bakersfield convenience store. 

In that case, he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor child abuse charge.


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