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.


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