Three cross burning suspects reach plea deal

April 24, 2012

Jason Kahn

Three of the four defendants accused of committing a hate crime against a black teen in Arroyo Grande last year agreed to plea deals in exchanged for reduced sentences on Monday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

Jason Kahn, 36, plead no contest to arson and two counts of terrorism and faces 12 years in prison.

Sara Matheny, 24, and William Soto, 20, each pleaded no contest to one count of arson and one count of terrorism. Because of their plea agreements, they each face five years in prison.

The fourth defendant,  Jeremiah Hernandez, 32, plead not guilty and his trial is proceeding separately. His attorney has argued his client had nothing to do with the cross burning.

On March 18, 2011, Kahn,  Hernandez, Soto, and Matheny allegedly set ablaze an 11-foot cross in direct view of the 19-year-old woman’s bedroom in the home she resided in with her mixed-race family.

Kahn’s attorney Trace Milan claims his client burned the cross to memorialize his father who died  near the home of the black teen.

In 1994,  sheriff’s deputies shot and killed Jason Kahn’s father, Rick Kahn, after he charged at them with a knife. A swat team had been sent to Arroyo Grande to search for Rick Kahn who was suspected of murdering a fellow methamphetamine dealer on the Nipomo mesa.

During a preliminary hearing, prosecutors argued that Kahn demonstrated his affinity for white supremacy by sporting several swastika and white power tattoos and that the cross burning was racially motivated.


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6 Comments

  1. SLOTECH90 says:

    Wonderful! They are all off to “Graduate School ” (Read=State Prison), where they will get advanced
    course work, labs, and future alumni to re-une (READ=Aryan BrotherHood) with on those oh
    so special days. Anybody around here think it was false advertising for CDCR to place the “R” (READ=Rehabilitation) back in their name? Wait! does anybody also think that the use of the “C” (READ=
    Corrections) is a bit oxymoronish as well?

    (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
  2. bobfromsanluis says:

    Justice was served.

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  3. Jack L says:

    You would think this happened in Mississippi not AG. God help us all………

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      Sorry to say, but you should read some of the comments that appear in this very forum at times.
      They use ‘dog-whislte’ or code speech to attempt to hide their racism.
      When they use the word “illegals” it means one thing: darker skinned people.
      You should have seen some of the signs at the first supposed ‘Teabagger’ rally. The only thing missing from a Klan rally were the white sheets. The ringleaders were oblivious to these blatantly racist placards, and they didn’t care. I pointed out to news cameras to be sure and get close-ups of the worst ones, like the one showing President Obama as some kind of witch doctor.
      The poohbahs seem to have at least done some minor policing now, but so few show up it isn’t even worth putting in the paper.

      (-12) 18 Total Votes - 3 up - 15 down
      • Citizen says:

        “When they use the word “illegals” it means one thing: darker skinned people”

        This is your opinion. When I use the term “illegals”, I mean people who are here in this country illegally, regardless of the color of their skin. I don’t know anything about what you call “Teabagger rallies” because I haven’t attended any.

        I have noticed, however, that you and one other poster have appointed themselves as the “racist” police. I doubt if either one or you have much actual real life experience with racism. Calling people racists because it makes you feel superior doesn’t help the cause–preventing racism.

        (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  4. Grandmaof9 says:

    Good…

    (12) 14 Total Votes - 13 up - 1 down

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