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Kansas man sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for hate crime in Paola

By: - June 29, 2022 5:21 pm

Colton Donner, 27, will serve 27 months in federal prison followed by 18 months on supervised release for a hate crime that involved threatening a Black man living in Paola with a knife. (Getty Images)

TOPEKA — A Kansas man who threatened a Black male juvenile living in Paola with a knife because of his race will serve 27 months in federal prison and 18 months on supervised release for the hate crime.

Court documents say Colton Donner, 27, in September 2019 noticed a Black man walking on the sidewalk while driving through a residential area of Paola. Donner got out of the car brandishing a knife and approached the victim, yelling racial slurs.

Donner told the man Paola was “a white town,” according to court documents.

“Racially motivated threats and violence have no place in our society today,” said U.S. assistant attorney general Kristen Clarke, of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This sentence should send a strong message to perpetrators of violent hate-fueled acts that they will be held accountable for their crimes. Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure living in their communities, without being subject to racially motivated crimes seeking to drive them from their homes or neighborhoods.”

The Paola Police Department worked alongside the Kansas City field office of the FBI on the case. Assistant U.S. attorney Tristam Hunt of the District of Kansas and Anita Channapati of the Civil Rights Division prosecuted the case.

Donner also was illegally in possession of a firearm at the time. He was previously convicted for vehicular eluding in 2017 by the District Court of Chaffee County, Colorado. He was required to forfeit the gun as part of a sentencing agreement in the Paola case.

“Every individual has the right to occupy a home free from racial discrimination, yet the defendant targeted the victim for no other reason than the victim’s race,” said Charles Dayoub, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Kansas City field office. “The defendant’s actions directly undermined the victim’s right to reside in a community in Paola and to enjoy the protections afforded under the federal civil rights act.”

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Noah Taborda
Noah Taborda

Noah Taborda started his journalism career in public radio at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri, covering local government and producing an episode of the podcast Show Me The State while earning his bachelor’s degree in radio broadcasting at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Noah then made a short move to Kansas City, Missouri, to work at KCUR as an intern on the talk show Central Standard and then in the newsroom, reporting on daily news and feature stories.

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