LB Williams

*A Florida man, LB Williams, was charged with domestic violence stalking after he burned a cross in his own yard to scare his wife.

Williams, 50, a black man, and his wife, Donna, who is white, found a cross burning in their driveway Nov. 4 outside of their Florida home. Their biracial daughter and grandchild were home at the time of the incident.

“When I saw that cross burning, I was scared to death,” Donna told the Panama City News Herald.  “I was terrified…we all were.’

“It started out as a hate crime (investigation) based on the information that we had at the time,” said Sgt. Jeff Becker, with the Panama City Police Department.

Police immediately began a hate crime investigation.

But there was a puzzling fact to the case—Becker noted that whoever left the burning cross probably didn’t want to damage the lawn or burn down the house.

The grandchild was severly affected by the cross burning, saying she still sees fires outside the house.

Two days later, Donna said she found a note taped on the front door and the side entrance to the house. She paraphrased: “They were watching us, I assumed me and the kids–and that I better not leave that (N-word). The note was signed “KKK.”

That struck Donna as strange.

“When did the KKK start supporting black and white, interracial marriages?” she wondered.

On Monday, Williams admitted to setting the fire and posting the notes, according to the arrest affidavit charging him with two felonies: domestic violence stalking and exhibits that intimidate.  He confessed he did it so his wife wouldn’t proceed with the divorce she filed for.

He was released from the Bay County Jail Nov.15 with no bond.

Police said Williams is not allowed to go home as a condition of the domestic violence charge.

Cross burning is widely associated with the Ku Klux Klan, which used the terrorist act as a symbol of intimidation in the early 20th century near the homes of black families.