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A member of the Ku Klux Klan pleaded no contest Monday to charges resulting from a verbal altercation with residents of Mount Victory earlier this year.
Kevin Gibbs of Hamilton was charged with aggravated menacing in the incident and was found guilty by Hardin County Municipal Court Judge Greg Grimslid.
When a group of KKK members marched through the village on March 25, some wore robes. They were confronted by a group of citizens who insisted they leave the village.
One of the area residents was Kenneth Ratliff. As the two groups clashed on N. Main Street, one of the KKK members, later identified as Gibbs, showed a gun to Ratliff, who is black, and threatened to shoot him.
The account was given Monday in court by Municipal Prosecutor Jason Miller from the records of the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office. The report continued that during the verbal altercation Gibbs didn’t point the gun at Ratliff, but did unholster the weapon. He reportedly was shielded by a woman as he threatened Ratliff.
Deputies arrived before the situation in Mount Victory escalated and separated the two factions. Gibbs was charged with aggravated menacing. He appeared in court in April and asked for a public defender to represent him in the case. Nicole Winget of Lima was assigned to represent Gibbs, who changed his plea Monday from not guilty to no contest.
Gibbs rejected an opportunity to address the court before Grimslid sentenced him to 180 days in jail. The judge suspended 178 days of the term and allowed Gibbs to perform four days of community service in his home county. He was also fined and placed on probation for one year. During that period, said Grimslid, he is not to possess a firearm. Gibbs was also fined $225 and court costs and was to submit to fingerprinting at the sheriff’s office.
By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer