After expressing concern about a Boulder Creek man's apparent white supremacist beliefs, a judge Tuesday sentenced the 21-year-old to 195 days in jail and 100 hours of community service for threatening a man who is a minority and for resisting arrest.
Miles Kelly, 21, was arrested Nov. 9 in downtown Boulder Creek by sheriff's deputies who said he began punching a man's car because the motorist had dark skin and then used a racial slur and threatened to kill the man.
Judge Jeff Almquist ordered Kelly to perform half the 100 hours with minorities and half with San Lorenzo Valley groups "dealing with problems of young people that advocate white supremacist beliefs." He also ordered treatment for alcohol abuse and three years probation.
The victim told the Sentinel on Wednesday he believed the incident stemmed largely from Kelly's intoxication. Talal Janbay, who was born in Lebanon and owns Scopazzi restaurant in Boulder Creek, said he does not believe he was targeted because he was foreign-born. He said he has known Kelly and his family for years and wants to meet with him upon his release from jail. With credits, Kelly could be released in 60 days.
Kelly's father, Kevin Kelly, told Almquist his son wants to sit down with Janbay and make amends.
The incident and a small number of others, including an attack on a group of Latino workers in October, prompted an outcry, and a standing-room only meeting was held Nov. 8 with county Supervisor Mark Stone, Sheriff Steve Robbins and others. A candlelight vigil was also held on Dec. 20.
Kelly was originally charged with a felony hate crime, but Almquist bumped that charge down to a misdemeanor threats charge, telling Kelly on Tuesday that he got that "benefit" because he was "obviously very intoxicated."
But prosecutor Steve Drottar said it was not just drunken stupidity.
"The people feel this sentence is inadequate," he said. "...You don't get to run around like some kind of Nazi. Free speech is one thing, but to lash out in violence is another."
Kelly had a cell phone with a swastika screen saver and a photograph where he and "other skinheads" were drinking and had "the KKK flag" draped over their shoulders, he said.
Almquist said he was concerned about the photograph and ordered Kelly not to possess any white supremacist materials. But he declined to allow law enforcement to search for that, calling it a "very delicate Constitutional area."
Public defender Isabel Gilman said the experience has been devastating for Kelly as a long-time member of the small community and that he wrote a letter of apology.
"When sober, he is quite insightful and understands the direction he is going is wrong," she said.
Janbay said he has not experienced racial intolerance in his 33 years in Boulder Creek, and that he would like to help Kelly so that something good can come from the incident.
Sentencing was delayed Wednesday for another man arrested in Boulder Creek on Nov. 9, on suspicion of having a loaded gun in his Jeep. Richard Negherbon will be sentenced Jan. 24.
Deputies linked him to Kelly, saying Kelly was yelling at them to leave his friend alone, and they said some weapons in Negherbon's vehicle had swastikas on them. Family members, however, have angrily told the Sentinel that Negherbon is not a racist.
Almquist ordered Kelly to stay away from Negherbon and a Brett Armburst, who they say tried to intervene when they were arresting Kelly.