- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A 70-year-old southern Utah man had been ordered to appear at a detention hearing in U.S. District Court on Friday on a federal hate crime charge after he allegedly made death threats to the family of a black teenager.

Robert Keller of Hurricane made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Evelyn Furse on Thursday on a misdemeanor complaint accusing him of interfering with a right to fair housing.

Keller had been issued a summons to appear March 12, but failed to show up. The date was reset for March 19, but he missed that too so federal agents arrested him this week.

His lawyer, Terry Hutchinson, told KUTV-TV Keller wasn’t aware of the court dates.

Prosecutors say Keller was upset the black teenager was socializing with white girls in his neighborhood. He allegedly wrote letters to the teen’s interracial family threatening to kill them if the youth didn’t move away.

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