NIAGARA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A 61-year-old Town of Niagara man pleaded guilty to a hate crime, the Niagara County District Attorney announced Friday.
Howard Murphy admitted to vandalizing his neighbor’s fence by spray-painting a violent message containing a racial slur on to it.
The crime occurred on May 16, two days after the Tops mass shooting. Murphy pleaded guilty to criminal mischief in the second degree as a hate crime.
Murphy was previously indicted on the felony charge in July 2022. He is scheduled to return to court on April 19 and faces 2 1/3 to 7 years in state prison.
Emily Miller is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2022. See more of her work here.