AUBURN – A Maine man has been acquitted of a hate crime in a 2013 road rage incident that prosecutors said was racially motivated.

However, the jury on Tuesday convicted 32-year-old Auburn resident Adam Getchell of a misdemeanor charge of driving to endanger.

Authorities had said Getchell tried to block 19-year-old motorist Matthew Wooten Jr. from passing him. When Wooten did pass him, Getchell apparently swerved and hit Wooten’s rear fender.

A police recording caught Getchell using racial epithets afterward inside a police cruiser.

The Sun Journal reported that Getchell was charged with a hate crime of intentional interference with civil rights.

Getchell is white. Wooten is half-black. The jury was all-white.

Getchell’s lawyer says his client regrets the words he used but didn’t commit a crime by using them.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.