After four hours of jury deliberation, one of the men charged with ethnic intimidation in Alger County was found guilty Thursday afternoon.
Casey Trobridge was accused of threatening a biracial couple in his hometown of Trenary. This week, he tried his luck in Alger Circuit Court and lost, unlike his former co-defendant, Max Fisher, who accepted a plea bargain for a lesser charge of attempted ethnic intimidation. But Trobridge fought the charge. His attorney argued that all the blame should rest on Fisher, who is currently being housed in the Alger County Jail.
Sean Lewis may have testified that Casey Trobridge was not as intimidating to him as former co-defendant Max Fisher, who he says threatened his family's livelihood.
"He said, 'Don't get comfortable around here or something's going to happen to your family,'" said Lewis.
But Trobridge did admit to making threats to Lewis's wife after he claims she verbally harassed him.
"She said, 'What's your problem white, ni**er trailer trash,'" said Trobridge.
But the prosecution argued that while Trobridge did not use words considered as "threatening" as Fisher, they were still considered ethnic intimidation.
"A threat does not have to be stated in any particular words," said Prosecuting Attorney, Karen Bahrman. "It can be general or vague terms. The reasons why threats are scary or intimidating is because they are vague; the uncertainties involved of where and when and how they're going to be carried out is what makes them intimidating."
But the defense fought hard to separate Trobridge from Fisher.
"When you look at this case, you have to look at Mr. Trobridge individually," said Swajanen.
The defense put up a battle, and the jury took four hours to arrive at the verdict. Casey Trobridge will be back in court for sentencing on February 23. He faces a maximum penalty of two years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.