An Aryan Brotherhood street gang member pleaded guilty Monday to a racially-motivated shooting in Meriwether County, and he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, authorities said.
Christopher Scott Copson accepted a negotiated plea that will have him serve 10 years of supervised release after his 20 years in confinement with the Georgia Department of Corrections, Herb Cranford, district attorney for the Coweta Judicial Circuit, said in a news release.
On Sept. 18, 2016, Copson and two others shot at an African-American man because his car inadvertently blocked the driveway they were attempting to leave, the release said.
The victim called 911 and attempted to follow Copson’s vehicle, which prompted Copson to fire additional shots, the release said. Some of those rounds his the man’s vehicle.
When arrested by Meriwether County deputies, Copson “repeatedly uttered heinous racial slurs toward the victim, making it clear that the victim’s race was (Copson’s) only motivation” for shooting at him, the release said.
Deputies found a stolen .380 pistol in Copson’s vehicle, which he admitted he purchased from another member of the Aryan Brotherhood, the release said. The Aryan Brotherhood is a prison-based white supremacist street gang.
In June 2016, prior to his arrest, Copson admitted to Coweta County deputies that he was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, which was consistent with his tattoos that indicate membership, the release said.
In 2010, he told the Georgia Department of Corrections he was a member in order “to better (his) race and (his heritage),” the release said.
He pleaded guilty to multiple counts of violating the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, aggravated assault, first-degree criminal damage to property, theft by receiving stolen property, making a false statement and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the release said.
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