Arroyo Grande cross burning convict receives reduced sentence
November 6, 2014
A judge has shaved three years off the prison sentence of a San Simeon man currently in prison for his involvement in a 2011 cross-burning that occurred outside the home of an African American teen in Arroyo Grande. [Tribune]
In August, an appellate court overturned two convictions Jeremiah Leo Hernandez, 36, received for participating in what was deemed a hate crime. The court ruled that Hernandez’s arson and terrorism in the form of arson convictions were not valid when coupled with a terrorism conviction for burning a cross.
On Wednesday, San Luis Obispo Judge Jacquelyn Duffy sentenced Hernandez to an eight-year term. He previously received an 11-year sentence.
Hernandez, however, could be allowed to leave prison in a little more than a year. He is already credited with serving 2,117 days, and if he displays good behavior, his release could come in 401 days.
Following the cross burning incident, Hernandez was one of four men arrested for involvement in the crime. Hernandez was the only one to go to trial.
The other three agreed to plead deals, with one receiving a 12-year sentence and the other two receiving five-year sentences.