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4 teens charged after cross burning incident in NC

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LILESVILLE, N.C. -- Investigators in Anson County have arrested four individuals after a burning cross was found in the front yard of a family's home.

Mary Carelock says she woke up just before sunrise on Saturday after hearing something in her front yard.

“I got scared. I got shook up,” Carelock said. “I didn't know what was going on.”

Carelock says she saw three men stick a small cross in her water meter before setting the cross on fire and driving away.

Police dubbed the incident a hate crime, took a photo of the cross in the aftermath and started an investigation.

Investigators say Carelock’s son previously dated a white teenage girl and the girl’s new boyfriend, Ethan Boyette, was upset about it.  They say Boyette and his friends, William Shepard and Ben Benson, decided to lash out after watching a movie about neo-Nazis.

The three male teenagers, who are all between the ages of 18 and 19, and a 16-year-old girl who drove the car they rode in were all arrested.

The male teens are charged with felony accessory after the fact, injury to real property and second-degree trespassing.  The 16-year-old girl was also charged, but she was later released to her parents.