White Man Sentenced For Sending Racist Messages To Interracial Couple

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A Massachusetts man has been sentenced for sending racist and threatening messages to an interracial couple on social media.

According to Atlanta Black Star, 48-year-old Stephen DeBerardinis was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to several charges including threatening to injure a person in another state and witness and victim intimidation.

DeBarardinis allegedly began sending an interracial couple, who had never met, racial slurs on Facebook Messenger in January 2021 after the pair announced their engagement. The 48-year-old had encountered the couple's engagement photos because he was friends with one of the victims' Facebook friends, according to prosecutors.

When the couple told DeBarardinis that they were reporting him to the police, he responded "SNITCHES GET STITCHES" and sent a picture of brass knuckles. DeBarardinis continued to send racist and threatening messages, including telling the couple that his "crew" had sexually assaulted or killed others.

Investigators later found over "70 knives, 22 brass knuckles, swords, bullets, black powder for guns, stun guns, rifles" and other weapons in DeBarardinis' home. According to prosecutors, DeBerardinis also had an "extensive" criminal history and regularly posted "race-motivated, hate-filled speech and white supremacist symbolism" on his Facebook.

“The toxic brew of racist hate, threats of violence and use of social media to amplify vile and violent attitudes is a corrosive danger to every law-abiding member of our community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua Levy in a statement. "The nearly eight-year sentence imposed on this defendant should send a message that when you engage in hate crimes, there is a serious price to be paid."

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