Father and son duo charged with hate crime for shooting at, attempting to run over Black teens

Father and son duo charged with hate crime for shooting at, attempting to run over Black teens
Wade (R) and Lane (L) Twiner (Source: Yazoo County Correctional Facility)

YAZOO COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - A white father and son duo arrested for allegedly shooting at and attempting to run over two Black teens in Yazoo County have been indicted on six counts.

Recently, a Yazoo County grand jury returned a true bill on Lane and Wade Twiner in connection with a September 2020 incident, in which they were accused of firing on and attempting to run down two African American teens riding four-wheelers.

The two are being charged with three felony counts of aggravated assault, one count of malicious mischief, one count of conspiracy to commit a crime, and one count of discriminatory enhancement.

State statute says discriminatory intent enhancement occurs if an offender commits an aggravated assault based on the victim’s perceived color, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or gender.

The court can impose twice the prison sentence or twice the fine for the aggravated assaults in those cases, the statute reads.

The indictments were handed down on March 8.

On September 27, the teens were riding Judkins Road when Yazoo County Sheriff Jacob Sheriff said they were encountered by the Twiners.

“Wade Oscar Twiner and his son Lane Twiner pursued them and tried to stop them and to shoot them and bump them,” Sheriff said.

The Twiners are white. The teens, Steven Gibbs and Deveon Luckett, were the only African Americans on the road at the time, Sheriff said.

The suspects were driving a truck at the time, while the victims, Steven Gibbs and Deveon Luckett, were riding ATVs, according to the indictment.

Wade and Lane Twiner are facing two aggravated assault charges for shooting at and attempting to run Gibbs off the road.

They are facing a single aggravated assault charge for firing shots at Luckett, according to the indictment.

The malicious mischief charge stems from the two encouraging each other to “disfigure the 2019 Honda Rancher” ATV, a vehicle owned by Rhonda Gibbs, the mother of one of the victims.

The two are expected to appear before Judge Jannie Lewis-Blackmon on April 9. Warrants have been issued for their arrests.

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