08/01/08 — Probable cause hearing set for cross burning

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Probable cause hearing set for cross burning

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 1, 2008 1:32 PM

A probable cause hearing will be held Tuesday, Aug. 12, in Wayne County District Court for a Dudley man facing multiple charges stemming from an argument with his neighbors, an interracial couple.

Dixon Steward, 38, faces a charge of ethnic intimidation, a felony charge of placing a burning or flaming cross on property and violating a judge's order. The FBI also has been asked to investigate possible civil rights violations.

Steward made his first appearance Thursday morning in Wayne County District Court before Judge Tim Finan. The charges were read to Steward and James Copeland was appointed by the court to represent him.

Steward remains in the Wayne County Detention Center under a $35,000 bond.

He was charged initially by Wayne County Sheriff's Office deputies for allegedly setting up a wooden cross and then setting it on fire on Gerald Buchanan's lawn on the morning of July 19.

Steward was placed under a $500 bond and was ordered by a judge to avoid contact with Buchanan and his family.

However, Dixon was arrested this past Tuesday and charged with violating that order after allegedly threatening Buch-anan's 9-year-old son.

Following his second arrest his bond increased from $500 to $10,000 and then to $35,000.

Federal authorities also are involved in investigating the case.