A Delaware man convicted of a felony hate crime was on July 1 sentenced to four months in prison as well as probation thereafter. According to Delaware Online, Matthew Gregg is the first person in the state to be convicted of the aforementioned charge.
The Department of Justice said the 27-year-old man was also sentenced to community service and ordered to undergo anger management, mental health, and substance abuse counseling.
Gregg was taken into custody in December 2020 and charged with harassment and making terroristic threats. Court documents stated that Gregg called Gov. John Carney’s Black female secretary 160 times and subjected her to racist and sexist slurs. Gregg is also said to have used the N-word. Authorities said the convicted man made those phone calls between November 20 and December 10, 2020.
The Department of Justice’s sentencing memorandum also stated that Gregg threatened to take the Black woman’s life and attack the governor with a brick. Deputy Attorney General Nicole Mozee labeled Gregg’s actions as “intentional, abhorrent and targeted.”
“People with prejudicial beliefs who do discriminatory things do not experience a temporary lapse in judgment but formulate an ingrained belief system over time,” Mozee said in the department’s statement to the judge.
Mozee stated that Gregg had taken issue with the COVID-19 mandates instituted by Carney because it reduced his work hours. But she said Gregg did not make mention of his displeasure with the mandates when he contacted the governor’s Black secretary.
And though the Department of Justice admitted that Gregg had a “minimal” criminal record and also admitted to the offense, it said it was still prudent for him to be sentenced to prison because not doing so “unduly depreciates the severity of the offense”, Delaware Online reported. The department added that it would also disregard the country’s broad history of racism and sexism, “which has been emboldened in recent years.”
“No one deserves to live in fear for their lives under the duress of constant harassment and threatening,” Attorney General Kathy Jennings said in a statement last Friday.