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Judge denies new trial in hate crime case

Sentencing set for March 28

A Kootenai County judge has denied a motion for a new trial made by two Coeur d’Alene brothers convicted of racially harassing a Puerto Rican man in 2009.

Sentencing has been set for 3 p.m. on March 28 for Frank Tankovich and William Tankovich Jr., who were convicted on Oct. 28 of malicious harassment and conspiracy to commit malicious harassment, both felonies, against Kenneth Requena.

The brothers requested a new trial claiming jury misconduct, saying the presiding juror improperly halted deliberations and sent a note to 1st District Judge John Luster expressing concern about the racist views of another juror. Defense attorneys said the juror in question was then harassed into delivering a guilty verdict.

The verdict was required to be unanimous.

In denying the defendants’ motion for a new trial, Luster said that while the presiding juror’s actions were “unusual,” they did not constitute “clear and convincing” evidence of misconduct.

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